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July / August 2004 Edition

Operations


Sheriff's Report:

Late August and the month of September are traditionally the busiest times for hurricanes in South Florida. Keep an eye on the Weather Channel and keep track of the storms that are out there in the Atlantic and the Caribbean. Make plans for where you or your family will go when a hurricane approaches and have supplies on hand accordingly.

Budget talks are going well so far. The County Commission approved our request for raises. We still have to go through more budget meetings, and three public hearings in August, but I feel positive about the outcome of those meetings.

The political season is upon us as well. As people running for office make the rounds, meeting and greeting, be courteous to all of them, whether you support them or not. Its tough to run for political office, and everyone who chooses to do so should be commended for caring about our system of government, and should receive thanks for participating in the process.

School will be starting August 9th in Monroe County and we should all remember to watch out for kids returning to classes. The safety of our County's school children should be a priority to us all. Watch out for cars passing school buses improperly, and for people speeding through school zones. If you see such a violation, take the time to pull them over and write them a citation. We need to emphasize the importance of these school related traffic laws.

The lobster sport season is over, and the regular lobster season is set to begin. The two day season was a busy one and I thank everyone who was out there patrolling for violations.

That's it for now. Keep up the good work - I appreciate all you do for the Sheriff's Office and the citizens of our county.

 

 

Colonel's Notes

Congratulations to SPI Grads

By Colonel Rick Ramsay

I recently attended the S.P.I. graduation for the 42nd Command Officers Development Course in Broward County.  Graduating from Monroe County Sheriff's Office was Sue Morgan, Nancy Reidelbach and Sharon Delossantos.  The graduation was an enjoyable time and we had a large group of people from our agency attending.  I am very proud of these latest graduates as I know how long and hard this course is as I graduated eleven years ago myself.  I congratulate these ladies and hope that they have learned much and will apply it here for the better.           


Bureau of Operations

Sector I Report

By Captain Chad Scibilia

OK, so its been a while. I know, we have all been busy so I guess that is no excuse. Let me see if I remember where I left off with personnel. For those of you who are leaving or have left sector one, we wish you good luck in your new endeavors. I would list these members individually but I don’t think Becky has enough room in this publication. There are two I will mention by name since they are leaving the sector but not the agency. First we say good by to Deputy Jay Fisher. He has been selected to fill a training position. Jay has always been actively involved in training so we know he will serve this position well and look forward to seeing him during the red man drills. Sheri Cuervo is leaving us to work in accreditation. We all know that Sheri has been running the Freeman Station for several years, so if we are a little slow getting to your needs, bear with us as we learn how to turn the office lights on.

Now for the good news. We welcome back Dep. McNichol. She has been out for several weeks with the birth of her child. Good to have you back Maretta and congratulations on the new addition to your family. We also welcome a new member to the sector one team, Dep. Reggie Williams. Reggie comes to us from out of state with prior law enforcement experience. He has started in the FTO program and is already proving to be a good addition to the team. Welcome aboard Reggie. I can hardly believe it myself, but we finally got Dep. Korzen out of sector 4. Welcome to the team Gregg and how does that drive to work feel now? Finally, congratulations to Dep. Edgar Pineiro for completion of your FTO program. As you may remember, Edgar came to us from the corrections division. He performed exemplarily during his FTO program and now that he has passed we look forward to him serving the sector solo. We have a couple more members who should be starting this month, but I will hold off on introducing them until they actually walk through the door.

Sector one also has a new vacation resort that opened this month. “Casa La Tarp” I have taken a tour of the facilities and they are pretty nice. Hot and cold running water, your own sleeping space, air conditioning and of course what would a resort in the keys be without an ocean view. At last count they had 90 guests. The added bonus is, I might be able to work something out to solve our employee housing problem. That is if the officers don’t mind sleeping on the ground. But on a serious note, the homeless safe zone is going fine and has really helped with the problem. Higgs Beach and other areas of Key West have been cleaned up so visitors and residents alike can enjoy them and with the new camping ordinance things can only get better. Calls for service at the safe zone haven’t been too bad either. More than I expected but as the shelter works out its policies and procedures, I am sure things will even out.


The Safe Zone

On a last sad note. At the time I am writing this I got word that Bruce Winegarden's father has passed away. Sector one's hearts and prayers go out to him and his family during this trying time.

Sector 6 Report

By Captain Joe Leiter

Just Hanging Out At The Sandbar

 WARNING:  The following article contains adult situations...and most if not all of it is tongue in cheek. 

Unless you were on vacation....in ICELAND you probably heard about the reported young adults hanging themselves from meat hooks at the Whale Harbor Sandbar.......and so did almost every media organization in the free world!  It started with Keysnews.com and The Citizen and went all over the country including, CBS Radio News, WIOD, The Drudge Report, AP News and CNN. 

On July 12th we received a call of an Attempted Suicide at the Sandbar.  Lt. Tom Brazil of the US Coast Guard Special Event Response Unit (he really works for the Sheriff's Office, but try to tell the newspaper that) met an FWC boat at Holiday Isle and along with 2 Islamorada Paramedics responded to the call.  Upon arrival, Tom found 4 young adults at the sandbar, one of which had a device on his back with a set of large hooks sticking through his skin.  Nearby was a tripod platform where they had apparently been hoisting themselves up on and hanging by the hooks. 

You know Lt. Brazil used to be a Detective Sergeant, so instead of asking about a permit for the illegal tripod structure, his keen police mind instead focused on the guy with the hooks sticking out of his back.  "Are you OK" Brazil asked the guy.....we had a report of someone needing help.  "I'm fine" the guy replied. "Does anyone need medical attention?" Brazil persisted.  "No thank you" the guy responded.  "I have two paramedics here with me in the boat," Tom insisted.  Again the guy refused any help.  "What are you all doing out here" Brazil inquired.  The guy responded "just enjoying the sandbar and hanging out."  Lt Brazil:  "In Service, copy codes." 

This and That: 

  • The annual Mini Lobster Season is over and the regular season is set to begin.  During the Mini Season we had both of our patrol boats out trying to enforce the 300' No Diving Ordinance. We wrote a total of 18 Citations for Marine Violations, most for violation of the 300' Village Ordinance. We issued 23 Warnings for Marine Violations and we returned 106 Lobster to the water that were taken inside the 300' limit.
  • A nice piece of police work by Dep Nelson Sanchez on the interception and apprehension of two suspects fleeing from Coast Guard on board a stolen go-fast boat at Channel 5 Bridge.... 
  • And finally, Dep Joe Moran was on leave so long his in car computer wouldn't let him log on with his old password.  That's it from Sector 6.

Traffic Enforcement Division busy with the Summer season and the Start of School

The Traffic Enforcement Division has been extremely busy with the Summer season,
holidays and with the upcoming start of school in the Keys August 9th. Sgt. Glenn Test
wants to remind everyone to keep an eye out for school related traffic violations.
The best way to stop people from endangering our children while they are driving is to
hand out those expensive citations. Traffic Enforcement deputies will be rearranging their schedules
so they can have more officers on the street during the mornings and afternoons,
but they can use all the help they can get.


Awards and Commendations

Employee of the Second Quarter Awards

The employee of the quarter awards and service awards ceremony will take place Friday, August 6th at the Marathon Government Center. The following people will be receiving awards:

  • Deputy Sheriff Of The Quarter: Dennis Coleman
  • Detention Deputy Of The Quarter: Peco Broussard
  • Support Member Of The Quarter: Janet Shepherd
  • Reserve Deputy Of The Quarter: John Marlowe
  • Explorer/Cadet Of The Quarter: Jocelyn Marles

Deputy Sheriff: Deputy Dennis Coleman has been a member of the Sheriff’s Office since January 2000, first working in corrections and now in road patrol. Since his start date, Deputy Coleman has not taken a sick day, and is a reliable and hard working member of the agency.

During a recent incident, Detective James Norman phoned dispatch in reference to a burglary in progress at a neighbor’s residence. Detective Norman entered the residence and found two male subjects burglarizing the home. As he was walking out with the subjects, one pulled away and fled on foot. A B.O.L.O. was issued with subject’s description. While all other deputies went directly to the scene, Deputy Coleman remained on the perimeter and B.O.L.O.’d the area looking for the subject who fled. Deputy Coleman located this subject hiding behind a local business. Detective Norman was able to positively identify the subject, and he was placed under arrest.

Also, during the last several months, Deputy Coleman has been incorporating more community policing into his workday while still maintaining a high level of patrol activity. Recently, Deputy Coleman began a project to clean up an abandoned homeless camp. The camp, with tents and other trash located in the woods, was visible from U.S. 1, making for an unsightly mess for both visitors and locals. He made several community contacts with local businesses and agencies regarding cleaning up this location. Within a month, he had a dumpster and trash removal donated, and enough volunteers to complete the job without taking any deputies off of the road. Over one ton of trash was cleared from this area. Deputy Coleman conducts daily foot patrols through the camps, and his name and face have become very familiar within the homeless population. He has gained a reputation with those persons as someone who is to be taken seriously.

In an effort to locate suspects and/ or property taken during recent vehicle burglaries, he has worked closely with the Sector 4 detective unit to identify and document where the homeless camps are located in Marathon, and the individuals who are staying at those camps. He has also made contact with several property owners to advise them of the activities on the property.

Deputy Coleman’s hard work, reliability, professionalism, and dedication to the Sheriff’s Office have earned him a great deal of respect from his peers and supervisors.

Corrections: On June 19, 2004, there was a vehicle fire in the southbound lane of US 1 at the 11-mile marker. All road patrol units were busy on calls and only Big Coppitt Fire Department was available to respond. The road was completely blocked and traffic was attempting to sneak through the tie-up creating a dangerous situation.

Transportation Officer Peco Broussard was on his way home from work and happened onto the scene. Officer Broussard immediately took action and stopped all traffic. He then began setting up the roadway so that traffic could be alternated in the northbound lane as soon as the situation allowed. He remained on the scene and assisted with traffic control until the vehicle was removed from the roadway and both lanes were clear.

This is not the first time that Officer Broussard has gone above and beyond to assist patrol. He routinely offers his assistance anytime he is available and sees a situation that requires his assistance. His work ethic deserves our appreciation.

Support: On June 29, 2004, Janet Shepherd was on her way to work when she came upon an accident scene with serious injuries. She stopped and helped, providing assistance to a doctor including holding C-Spine on one of the accident victims

Reserve: Reserve John Marlowe has been a very big asset to the Reserve program. He has been a member of the Reserves since February 2002. During this time he has averaged 150 hours per month. Reserve Marlowe volunteers as a parking enforcement specialist, assists the bailiffs at Plantation Key Courthouse, and can be depended upon to help wherever else he maybe needed.

Sgt. Scott Cockrell, the supervisor for the Plantation Key Courthouse security has written Reserve Marlowe two letters of thanks for the help he has provided to him at the courthouse. Sgt. Cockrell has stated that because of Reserve Marlowe’s help, his security staff has been able to take time off without having the need to shuffle people around to cover.

Reserve Marlowe has been commended by Tom Moore, the manager of Publix Market in Key Largo for his efforts in parking enforcement in Tradewinds Plaza.

Explorer: Jocelyn Marles joined Post 906 in March 2001, since that time she has proven to be a hard worker as well as a leader. She has worked her way up the Chain of Command. She now holds the rank of Captain, which makes her responsible for all of the members, work details, and activities of the Post.

When something needs to be done or there is a work detail announced, Explorer Captain Jocelyn is among the first to volunteer. She often takes care of things before being instructed to do so by and Advisor. She is so intent on things going well, she sometimes has to be reminded that she had the power to delegate. She is also a founding member of the Explorer Drill Team. She has been nominated and is currently running for the position of Southern Region Vice President as a member of the Florida Sheriff’s Explorer Association.

Explorer Captain Marles is a high achiever outside of Exploring. She maintains good grades in school, is active in her church and school, holds a part-time job and takes on a lot of responsibilities helping out at home. She is a very giving person and I feel certain that she will take what she has learned here and apply it to whatever she does in life.

5 Year Member Plaques

  • Peco Broussard
  • Jennifer Torres
  • Mark Bender
  • Daniel Reccoppa

10 Year Member Plaques

  • Mary Cohen
  • Kendra Albury
  • Glenn Test
  • Joseph Moran
  • Gerald Fisher
  • Charlene Huff
  • William Gordon
  • Keena Allen
  • Anola Mira
  • Eugenia Rivas
  • Hugh Robertson

15 Year Member Plaques

  • Laura Scott
  • Gregory Artman
  • Alberto Ramirez
  • Tammy Clark
  • Mark Belile
  • Kenneth Taylor

20 Year Member Plaques

  • Frank Mara

Detective Henry Hamilton recently received the Law Enforcement
Officer of the Year from the International Association of Financial
Criminal Investigators. Here he is pictured with his wife Jane. Congratulations Henry!

Letters of Thanks and Commendation

  • Attorney Craig Lekach wrote to Director Sharon Harrold to commend Sgt. Scott Cockrell and Deputy George Rosemeyer for their conduct while working a jury trial in the upper Keys. He says, in part, "While maintaining a serious demeanor throughout the proceedings, they also brought a friendliness and willingness to help. It is sometimes difficult to try a case away from home. They made it easier."
  • Detective Lieutenant Jim Benkoczy, Key West Police, wrote to the Sheriff's Office commending our detectives for their assistance on a case. He said that Detectives Ben Lowe and Donald Catala were instrumental in assisting the KWPD in the identification and apprehension of an attempted robbery/homicide suspect in a case which took place in the city in May. He says, in part, "This example of cooperation and teamwork between our two agencies is great to experience and makes all of us more effective in delivering quality investigative services to our citizens."
  • Assistant State Attorney Manuel Madruga wrote to Sheriff Roth giving credit to several Sheriff's Office employees for assisting in the successful prosecution of murderer Larry Palmer. He says, "Sgt. Trish Dally, Inspector Jon Ellsworth and Detective James Norman did an excellent job and the jury's verdict is a direct result of their outstanding efforts."
  • Detective Lieutenant Jim Benkoczy wrote a letter of thanks to a number of Sheriff's Office employees for their help with a recent burglary investigation. He says that, thanks to teamwork between the Sheriff's Office and the Police Department, suspects were linked to burglaries in both jurisdictions and were taken into custody.He says, in part, "...the combined efforts of both agencies resulted in the clearance of three recent school burglaries in our city and several others in your jurisdiction." His thanks go out to: Det. Sgt. Corey Bryan, Detectives Manny Cuervo, Jeremy Davy, Donald Catala, Henry Hamilton, Don Dalton, Ben Lowe, Deputies Nelson Sanchez, Jim Ford, Joseph Moran, Tim Hurd, Lyle Agins, CSI Gary McCoullough and PIO Deputy Becky Herrin.
  • David M. Morris, of Morris and McDaniel, Inc. Management Consultants wrote to Sheriff Roth to commend Lieutenants Larry Kelley, Cornelies Jones, and Joseph Linares for their help at a recent assessment center as an assessor for the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office. He says, " was conscientious and diligent, and gave generously of his time. He represents your department in a most positive and professional manner."
  • David Stark, Director of Public Safety at Ocean Reef Community wrote to Sheriff Roth to commend Deputies Larry Benedict and Flo Daniel for their help in clearing up a number of vehicle burglaries. He says, "Their hard work, professionalism has again  made the Sheriff's Office shine in the eyes of the Ocean Reef members, guests and Public Safety employees."
  • Nancy and Lawrence Lewis of Marathon wrote to Sheriff Roth to commend Sgt. Jake Brady, Deputy Luis Blasco and Deputy Chuck Kellenberger for recovering their stolen car. The car, stolen in the early morning hours, was recovered and returned that same evening. The Lewis's say, "These men are to be commended for their intelligence, deductive reasoning and tenacity."
  • Pat Puckitt, Carol Adams and Al Bridges wrote to Sheriff Roth to commend  Deputy Marlena Ramos. Deputy Ramos helped with an accident on Memorial Day. The letter says, "In my opinion you are fortunate to have such a caring, professional on your staff."
  • Attorney Charles Milligan wrote to Sheriff Roth to commend (then) Corrections Officer Teresa Milliken. He overheard, while visiting the jail, Officer Milliken helping two young people deal with the arrest of one of their friends. He says, "...when people are arrested, emotions tend to come to the fore, but in this particular case I believe that the manner in which Officer Milliken handled the inquires was a credit to both herself and the Monroe County Sheriff's Office."
  • Sgt. Vaughn Sommers received two letters commending him for recent actions. Edward Russell commended him for assisting an injured man who was reluctant to go the the hospital. Sgt. Sommers talked the man into going for treatment. The man turned out to have multiple fractures in his legs which needed surgery to repair. Molly Brunner commended Sgt. Sommers for helping her when her car overheated. She and a friend were on the way to the airport to pick someone up. Sgt. Sommers took the friend to the airport, picked up the passenger waiting there, while Ms. Brunner was taking care of getting the car towed. He then returned to Ms. Brunner's location and made sure everyone got home safely. She was extremely grateful for his assistance.

Support Services

The Sheriff's Office Nextel Cellular Contract

We have the National Breakthrough 10,000 Plan, which includes the following:

  • Each member is allowed (Peak) 1,000 minutes per billing period
  • Nights and Weekends are unlimited/Free
  • Direct Connect is STATEWIDE ONLY, but unlimited
  • Text messaging is separate and costs 15 cents per message and charged to the member's appropriate department code
  • Directory Assistance (411) costs $1.40 per call

If a member goes over their assigned minutes, then Finance will send them a invoice billing them for the difference. Nextel also provides a information line on the number of minutes used throughout the month....dial 612 from your cell phone.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Jane Pritchett or Tamara Snider.

Birthdays for August:

8/2 Barney Steven
8/2 Daniel Florine
8/2 Gonzalez Pedro
8/2 Major Patrick
8/2 Stanley Tamara
8/3 Silvers Todd
8/4 Caputo Louis Steven
8/5 Fisher Gerald
8/6 Horn Mitchell
8/7 Dehring, Jr James
8/8 Harper Beverly
8/8 Leonard Anne
8/8 Rodriguez Freddy
8/9 Cross Bryan
8/10 Jagoda Jerry
8/11 Allen Keena
8/11 Passarelli Joseph
8/12 Albury Kendra
8/12 Dunn, II Elbert
8/13 Alvarez Jose'
8/13 Penunia Concorde
8/13 Slebodnick Charles
8/16 Fain Jerome
8/16 Williams James
8/17 Hamilton Henry
8/17 Ruiz Raquel
8/17 Test Glenn
8/18 Mashburn Natalie
8/19 Drennan David
8/19 Hernandez Celso
8/21 Holliman William
8/21 Roble-Soca Leyany
8/22 Beeler Amy
8/22 Bryan Peggy
8/22 Heaviland Michelle
8/22 Lakner Jamie
8/23 Snider Robert
8/23 Sweeney Anne
8/24 Fricke Andrea
8/24 Jensen Tamela
8/26 Brown Debra
8/26 Dorta Alejandro
8/26 Heaviland Michael
8/26 O'Connell Tiffany
8/27 Leird Dawn
8/28 Hiller Donald
8/28 Johnson Gregg
8/29 Askins Edward
8/31 Schlafke Robert
8/31 Russell William
8/31 Ryan Deborah

New Hires:

Barker Aaron Summer Help Finance Finance Division
Russell William School Crossing Guard School Crossing Guards-KW
Albury Lisa Assistant Director-Finance Finance Division
Pino Javier Investigative Assistant HIDTA-South Florida BLOC
Bacon Natarish Detention Records Assistant Central Records
Presendieu Renand Deputy Sheriff Sector V Unincorporated KV
Foster Sherman Robert Deputy Sheriff Sector IV Regional II Marathon
Jacko Kevin Deputy Sheriff City of Marathon - Municipal
Berrios Juan Deputy Sheriff Sector VII Unincorporated
Rodriguez John Detention Deputy KW Facility - Security - D Watch
Tanner Robin Deputy Sheriff Sector IV Regional II Marathon
Mattina Joe Pilot Aviation Division
Williams Reginald Deputy Sheriff Sector I Unincorporated Cudjoe
King Joanne Detention Records Assistant Central Records
Mullen Mary Records Assistant Sector VII Regional III PK
Kibbe Brian Deputy Sheriff Sector I Unincorporated
Baguette Madeleine School Crossing Guard Sub. Key West
Dor William Detention Records Assistant Key West Facility

Promotions:

Barger Amanda Promotion Deputy Sheriff 01-May-04
O'Connell Tiffany Promotion Records Supervisor 03-May-04
Lakner Jamie Promotion Airport Security Technican 10-May-04
Ford Jim Promotion Detective-HIDTA 14-May-04
Palomino Jennifer Promotion Detention Records Assistant 17-May-04
Sellers Aida Promotion Detention Records Supervisor 17-May-04
Fisher Gerald Promotion Sergeant Training 10-Jul-04

 

Yes, that's Bob Bruening swinging a golf club. Bob apparently
found time out of his busy schedule to practice the sport.
The photo is courtesy of Sandra Bartlett in information systems.

 


General News

A Blast from the Past

By Ed Sanders

Editor's Note: I've gotten some emails from Ed Sanders, who used to work for the Sheriff's Office beginning in 1961. I asked him if I could share some of his memories with the rest of the Sheriff's Office and he agreed.

Part One :

Just for your information here is how things were when I joined the S.O. in 1961 and was assigned to PKSO as Dispatcher-Jailer. The starting salary was $300.00 per month, paid once per month. There were no banks in the Upper Keys so I mailed my First paycheck to my bank in Dade Co. It was returned to me via mail marked Insufficient Funds and I had already been writing checks against it. Great start.

At that time the S.O. budget was only $300,000.00. When I went on there were only five Deputies at PK. A Corporal in charge, two Road Patrolmen and Two Dispatchers. It was a good thing we were not very busy back then as one of the two patrol cars was jacked up and contributing parts to keep it's twin on duty.

The only running car was a Hot Seat special. The two Patrol Deputies shared one revolver. At least they both had shotguns. The Corporal  filled in to take calls when needed. The Dispatcher-Jailer was on duty 24 hours on, 24 off.  There was no other day off, anything needed to eat or drink had to be brought to work when going on duty. When you needed to use the rest room.........well there was none. You had to grin and bear it until a Deputy could come in to relieve you from the radio desk. Getting a Patrolman to do this was not easy as they hated any sort of radio desk duty.You could also use one of the cells. If they were full it was necessary to remove however many prisoners as were inside and cuff them outside the other cells.

About 1963 the County Commissioners provided a water cooler. As I recall, the sub station was a house the county purchased and added four cells on. One of the Dispatchers was a Resident Deputy and lived in the house which was separated from the jail by a steel door which was kept locked  so those facilities could not be used by others. 

Part Two :

On joining the S.O. and being assigned to PKSO, I met Sheriff John Spottswood. Immediately I observed great respect of him from the troops. No one bad mouthed him over anything. I learned that if anyone lied to him the liar was quickly fired. He would stand behind his men against anyone whatever the odds of political hurt. On starting my training at PK I saw how poor the S.O. was. All the equipment was old and worn out.

Most of the Deputies had nick names: "Chicken Neck" was tall and skinny. He could fight OK when he had to but avoided any such if possible only for the fact he didn't want to get dirty doing it. Neck was an extra clean person. We had 3" wide gun belts back then. He would put his on with a large handkerchief in each hand to avoid prints on the leather. He would sit in a chair kind of prissy like while making certain the creases in his uniform shirt and trousers remained straight and tidy. He was a little grouchy and seemed to enjoy giving orders to the waitresses when eating out. They teased him about his uniform not being perfect which he hated. One day he was giving a waitress a hard time so when she brought his ice tea she threw the whole glass full right on his gun belt. He nearly died right there. This gal was an instant HERO with the other waitresses.

The patrol units had no screens. One day Neck had to arrest a drunk and dumped him into the back seat but on arrival at PK just as Neck stopped the auto the drunk leaned forward and said "Here, you better take this" and, while handing over a .25 automatic he also vomited all over Neck. That's as mad as I ever saw him. So lesson learned. No matter how dirty and filthy they are, you must not fail to pat em down good.

Soon after that incident PKSO got a call one night from a nearby resident who reported a neighbor was beating his wife to death, she was screaming for help. I had just been relieved of Dispatcher duty so I jumped into the Unit with Neck. On arrival we heard her screaming and we just ran thru the unlocked door of the home and we both grabbed the man who was beating the woman who was a bloody mess. He was strong and while we were attempting to cuff his hands behind him, Quick AS A Wink, the woman had run into her bed room and returned with a .32 automatic and jammed it into Neck's back and pulled the trigger while yelling to leave her husband alone. This happened FAST. The gun went CLICK. I grabbed her gun hand and knocked her down and cuffed her. Both were arrested. Inspection of the gun revealed there was no round in the chamber. The magazine was fully loaded. Lesson learned. Can't afford to take your eyes away from anyone on the scene if at all possible. Another lesson I learned was that anyone you are trying to help may turn on you in an instant.  Pay attention to your teacher and do not learn these things the hard way. The biggest lesson I ever learned is that Domestic Disturbance is usually the most dangerous call a cop will get.

Part Three:

Pyro Man. Or how Pyro Man assisted my escape from the radio room and on to road patrol duty. But it cost Pyro a suspension. 

A Deputy on vacation discovered two 14 year old  boys building a raft on a beach near some woods in Southern Islamorada and not recognizing them and knowing everyone in the area and feeling something was up he approached and talked with them. They did not know he was a Deputy. He learned the boys had run away from Ohio and they were headed for Cuba on this very craft. They had a coil of rope, a machete, food, water, odds and ends and a still sealed one pound can of FF G Black Gun Powder. They were chopping up trees and using driftwood to construct their boat which they related they would use to get to Cuba and blow up Fidel Castro with a powder bomb. Ah youth. The Deputy left and phoned PKSO which transmitted to Chicken Neck to go forth and apprehend said bombers. He did so.

DYS came and took charge of the boys. Our supervisor tells Neck to dump the powder and hose it down or flush it or give it to myself for use as I owned a couple of Black Powder guns.  Of course he didn't do any of that. Like FORD he had a better idea. Later, after dark, Neck came in with some big stick kitchen matches and takes a trustee outside to the parking area which was just outside a window next to the radio desk where I sat on duty. I warned Neck not to do this but he said it was safe enough cause Black Powder burns slower than Real powder and besides don't you want to see some 4th of July? He knew nothing about powder.

They go outside, Neck has the trustee pour out the powder so he won't get his hands dirty. The whole pound was poured into a pile with a short trail of a few inches. Then I observe in the darkness lit matches flying in the air. Then flying in the air and getting lower and closer to the little bomb. Neck was a good shot but not with matches. Then, Boommmmmmmmmmmm !  The whole building shook. That's the biggest Orange fireball I have ever seen in my life and I immediately heard screaming voices: Aghaaaaaaaa  Aieeeeee Ughnaaaaaaaaa Help Help and such as that so I ran outside and found them on the ground badly burned. I called the hospital next door, put the station 10-6, locked the doors, got them into Neck's patrol unit and got to the hospital in two seconds, the E R was ready to receive. Both victims had been wearing glasses which saved their eyes. Their hands, arms and faces were burned and their eyebrows and hair mostly gone. I returned to the station and called the supervisor. He didn't believe me. Mostly cause he had been the victim of some pranks no body knows anything about. Can't say I blamed him because one had been recent.

About three a.m. one night somebody put bullet hole decals on a window near the radio and called Mr Supervisor and related how the trustees (who were asleep) had grabbed a pistol and fired it in a struggle with the dispatcher then they ran into the woods with the gun.  In those days the trustees were never locked up and sometimes walked around all night. No, it was not me who did the decals.

Supervisor was quite upset at being called and threatened to kill the caller but he was advised that help had been called in and searchers were out there and road block set up and when the Sheriff learns you went back to sleep............well you can guess he will not be happy. So he arrived half asleep and wanted to know where everyone was searching and he went out to help then returned saying he couldn't find the searchers. He was awake now and got a cup of coffee and sat across the little room from the bullet holes and just stared at them and goes Woe is Me, Boss is gonna kill me. Soon he rises and goes to inspect the holes then blows his top.  Gee, can't take a joke?

He was mad for a month. So to make a long story short that's how Neck got his new name, Pyro Man, and provided me with a promotion to road patrol, starting that night. Lesson learned: Listen to the Supervisor. When things go wrong you can blame it on him.

What’s Happening

BOWLING LEAGUE PARTICIPANTS NEEDED

Are you looking for some fun and relaxation? We are looking for a few teams of three players for our winter bowling league starting sometime in September. Only fun bowlers need to apply. If your idea of fun is kicking objects and throwing items because you missed a pin, please don't apply. We play on Monday nights from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Boca Chica base bowling alley.

Call Mary at 293-7338 to sign up teams. If you don't have a team and want to play, call Mary and she'll try to match individuals together to form a team.

Scotts celebrate 25 years together!

Jan and Ernie Scott recently celebrated their 25th wedding
anniversary with a trip to Atlanta. Congratulations you two!