Newsletter published by the Community Relations Division of the Monroe County Sheriff's Office, for Monroe County Sheriff's Office employees.


Date: January, 2004

Rap Sheet in Word format
Rap Sheet in Adobe format

Table of Contents


 Sheriff’s Report

Florida Keys Community College named their new Marine Public Safety Annex after Sheriff Roth. He recently spoke at the grand opening and naming ceremony. Here he is in front of the building, pictured with his wife, daughter and granddaughter.

The Sheriff's Office said good-bye to long time employee, Colonel Bill McDonald. We'll all miss him, but we know he looks forward to his long-awaited retirement. Enjoy!

Bureau of Operations

Sector 6 Report

By Captain Joe Leiter

NEWS from Sector 6: The Holidays were busy in Islamorada with the usual compliment of inbound tourist traffic. The week between Christmas and New Years is traditionally the heaviest week of traffic in the Keys with traffic backing up sometimes 8 miles on the US 1 stretch. The joke goes like this: The only way to get to the other side of US 1 during the tourist, season is to be born there!

The Sheriff was up here this week to present the keys to a seized car to Village Manager Bernie LaPira. The car, a 1996 Mercury was forfeited to the Sheriff's Office when it was used in a felony in Islamorada. Islamorada will use the vehicle for Government business. Sheriff Roth also recently agreed to purchase a new 225 HP motor for one of the Village Patrol Boats to replace the 9 year old Johnson motor that is on there now and to pay for an addition to our small Islamorada Station which we have quickly outgrown. So to our boss we say....thank you, thank you!!!!!


Sheriff Roth hands over the keys to Bernie LaPira.

"This & That": We have had to use the road spikes so much up here I have ordered 2 new sets, both for Sgt Kiffney's squad.........and when we can't spike 'em we stop our BOLO vehicles anyway we can...

The recent upgrade of Sgt Hurd's laptop produced 2 pounds of dog hair. Tim are you letting "Storm" send emails again?......we have a new deputy in Sector 6, Adam Rabinowitz....no wait, he was just on FMLA for the past 6 months, welcome back you missed all the fun.......ask "Koolaid" how to play Keno in Las Vegas.......Our Secretary Vicki Bryan finally got blinds installed in the front lobby, so Vicki, now what are you going to do with all that sun block lotion? Well, that's it from the Village.....it's another brutal winter day here....76 degrees, I just HATE working here!

Report from Marathon and Sector 5

By Lt. Larry Kelley

Rapsheet time again? It never ends. But that’s ok. It is a pretty easy thing to put together if you work in Marathon, where there are always good things going on.

First, let me welcome to the job our new members. Mike DiGiovanni who comes to us from Key West Corrections and Andrew Warwick who comes to us from Bellaire Police Department (Jacksonville area). They are both in our FTO program and they are doing great. We are all looking forward to getting them out on their own and catching the “bad guys”, which is what we do best. We are looking forward to receiving Diane Hart, who is coming to us from NYPD and Amanda Barger who will be swapping over from Communications. Their respective departments’ losses will, no doubt, be our gains.

We bid a farewell to David Simons, who leaves us for an opportunity in his further education, Louis Vega who goes to a management opportunity in California and to Chuck Meier who is going to take his skills to Iraq. We wish them all a safe journey and hope all their dreams and aspirations come to pass.

We also had Lin Badman go to the Traffic Unit. We will miss her smiling face and her commitment here, but her talents were needed there and if I know her-she is showing them how it is done. U go girl!

The hardest part of this job is to say goodbye to the people who have touched our lives in the deepest way and have strived to make a difference in all of our jobs. Richard Heber is such a person. He has been a devoted member of this agency for over eleven years and has been a Zone Commander in Sector 5 since its inception. Richard is the kind of man who brings caring and loyalty to his workplace and strives to be the best he can be. Richard has recently decided it is time for him and his lovely bride, Cookie, to move to their home in North Carolina. He has told me this is the hardest decision he has ever made and I believe him. I will miss his assistance, his dedication and his caring here at the station and he will truly be missed. We are having a retirement celebration on  January 27th at Pizza and Pasta in Marathon and hope to see EVERYONE there. I want to thank Linda Kohout for her initiative and help in setting up this celebration.

Richard Heber was recently promoted to Lieutenant by the Sheriff
in anticipation of his upcoming retirement. Pictured is Captain Bob Peryam
presenting him with his new uniform at an informal ceremony at the Key Vaca Station.

Another person who has meant so much to us is Colonel Bill McDonald who we wished a farewell to at his going away retirement celebration at the Rusty Anchor this month. Stay safe, Bill, and we will always remember you for your steadfastness and insight. The Sheriff and you have chosen a super replacement in Rick Ramsay. We look forward to his support and oversight in the future as we did yours.

Congratulations to Sergeant Suzanne Morgan who was selected to be Richard Heber’s successor as Zone Commander. I am sure she will be every bit of the leader in that position as she has been as a Road Supervisor. She has also just been selected to attend the next session of SPI in Broward County. Good luck up there and I think the BCCC will never be the same with the team of wonderful women we are sending them. If you haven’t heard, Suzanne, Nancy Reidelbach and Sharon DelosSantos will be going to this session. Look out Bob Krouse-we are sending you “da goods”!

I want to give out a job well done to Jake Brady and Suzanne Morgan again for completing Mid Management recently. I am sure the course was challenging and you will appreciate the knowledge that has been imparted to you in your future biddings.

Zone Commander Dennis Cain has just been proclaimed as fit for duty after an injury and we are happy to have him back on the job-not that he has not been dedicating his talents to our computer world in the interim. Derrick Paul was in the same boat and dedicated his time on light duty to training all of our officers in the in-car cyber-world. Thanks to both of these men for their efforts to help the cause even when “duty challenged”. What never ceases to amaze me is the dedication to duty that our officers put forth when the chips are down and the station is in need. I love this place.

We had great success in our recent support of the Florida Combined DUI and Safety Belt Enforcement Wave in the month of December. We have just sent our results to Tallahassee, through our Traffic Unit, and Dennis Coleman was top dog in his activity, this time, netting a whopping 101 Seat Belt tickets during the period. I am sure this will make their heads spin when they tally the results at the state capitol. This wave is such an important part of our enforcement efforts as safety belt usage is not only important for the safety of our motoring public but the subsequent surveys are what are used to determine grant funding for some of our IPTM police training. To everyone in Marathon, Sector 5 and all officers countywide who set their sights on the target and attempted to focus on the state’s request this season, thank you and keep up the good work.

Well, I will close for now. Stay safe out there and keep focused on the mission.

AND REMEMBER….We are all here because we WANT to be-not because we HAVE to be.

Sector 7 announces changes

Sector 7 Lt. Donnie Fanelli recently announced some changes at the rank of sergeant in his sector. Previously an Acting Supervisor in the Sector for four years, Sean Heffron (pictured on the left) was recently promoted to Sgt. and will work on one of the two night shifts. Sgt. Joe Passarelli recently transferred from the lower Keys to the upper Keys and will be working in Sector 7; Sgt. Deborah Ryan was recently transferred from night shift to sergeant of one of the Sector's day shifts.

Team work on Seagull Rescue

By Detective Janine Gedman

Click here to see photos of the seagull rescue effort

At approximately 1730 hours on December 1, 2003 CAWACU I was leaving the office.  As I approached my car parked in front of the Juvenile Justice Center I noticed a seagull trapped in the razor wire surrounding the retention pond.  The gull’s feet were wrapped with monofilament line and he had a fishing hook stuck in his cheek.  His wings were bleeding from beating them against the razor wire. 

As a member of the Audubon Society and bird lover, I had to do something.  I called the Key West Wildlife Rescue and then their cell phone.  Luckily, Janet of Wildlife Rescue and Gwen of the SPCA were together, returning from another rescue up the keys.  In about 20 minutes they arrived at the scene of the trapped gull. 

 In the meantime, Deputy Jorge Morffi and Deputy Jose Alvarez were on the scene.  Deputy Morffi called MCSO Dispatch who requested that a fire truck respond.  Deputy Morffi also contacted Lt. Tammy Clark to allow this rescue team into the secured jail compound.  Within minutes Stock Island Fire Rescue members, Eric Sanderson and Clint Jones arrived, along with Lt. Clark. 

With keys in Lt. Clark’s hands, a ladder in Sanderson’s and Jones’ hands, elbow length leather gloves in Janet’s hands, and a large pet carrier in Gwen’s hands the team made its way to the other side of the fence.  Fire Rescue Eric Sanderson with a box cutter in tow climbed quickly up the ladder as the gull was near exhaustion if not death.  Sanderson cut the fishing line that was wrapped around the gull’s feet and caught on the razor wire.  This freed the gull who was too weak to fight.  Sanderson passed the gull on to Janet and Gwen who took him to Wildlife Rescue at Indigenous Park in Key West for rehabilitation. 

Thanks to all involved. 

Lessons to be learned:

  • BE RESPONSIBLE WITH MONOFILAMENT LINE AND FISHING HOOKS 

  • ALWAYS WORK AS A TEAM 

  • EVEN THE LOWLIEST OF CREATURES DESERVES A RESCUE ATTEMPT

Bureau of Corrections

Christmas On the Farm a smash hit!

By Elaine Lash

Although the rain kept some at bay, the brave feasted their eyes on a beautiful Christmas tree that, was donated by Southern Furniture Sales, enjoyed complimentary refreshments from Pepsi-Cola and delighted in seeing the animals that were dressed up as reindeers or adorned Santa hats.

But, most importantly of all, thanks to Tony Campana, Santa was found just in the nick of time to make a visit to the farm so memorable. He gave out gifts to all the children in attendance and reminded them to be good.

Thank-you to everybody that helped me make a special day for the children and the farm.

On a sad note, last month Rudy the goat passed away. I had Veterinarian Doug Mader do an autopsy and found Rudy had ingested a plastic bag. He will be missed on the farm.

Awards and Commendations

  • Deputy Paul Schultz was recently commended in the Key West Citizen's "Citizen Voice" for helping a stranded citizen change a flat tire.
  • Scott Donahue from the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary recently wrote Sheriff Roth to commend Lt. Mike Pandol, and Deputies Matt Cordell and John Housman for their assistance with aerial reconnaissance of a vessel grounding site off of Looe Key just after Christmas. He said they were "excellent examples of the professionalism and environmental stewardship of the Monroe County Sheriff's Office.
  • Robert "Bud" Zeller of Bud's C&C Supply wrote to Sheriff Roth to commend Sgt. Vaughn Sommers and Deputy Jose Morffi for their diligent work in regularly checking his new business on Stock Island. He said, in part, "This is in no way meant as a slight to any of your other deputies, they all seem to be doing a fine job, but these two deputies have come to my attention by their personal interaction. I know everyone takes the time to complain, but it would be nice if everybody took the same amount of time to say thanks when you're doing a good job."
  • Lt. Don Fanelli recently recognized the work of Deputy Lyle Agins, Deputy Eric Christensen and Deputy James Ford when they were all called to an attempted suicide by hanging in October. They found a man hanging from a rope. They cut him down, loosened the rope and subsequently saved his life, returning him to a "productive quality of life".
  • Ralph Magnotti, Commander of the Marathon Sail and Power Squadron, wrote to Lt. Mike Pandol thanking him for a presentation he gave at a November meeting. He said, in part, "From the comments in the room during and after your presentation, it was obvious that the majority of the audience was unaware of the large scope of activities carried out by the Sheriff's Aviation Division."

Support Services

Deferred Compensation information

Participants enrolled in the 457 deferred compensation plans can contribute up to $13,000.00 a year. Employees aged 50 and older may contribute up to 16,000.00 per year through a special "catch up" provision designed to help pre-retirees stockpile additional savings.

Please contact your deferred compensation representative for additional information.

  • Hartford Life, (Peter Dryfuss) 1-800-251-7752
  • AIG VALIC, (John Witzgall), (305) 872-1646, Cell(305) 923-0331

Welcome to the following new employees!

LAST NAME FIRST NAME DOH JOB TITLE
Lamperti Sally 11/04/03 Communications Officer
Gallagher Michael 01/10/04 Communications Officer I
Fitzgerald James 01/12/04 Deputy Sheriff
Warwick Andrew 01/09/04 Deputy Sheriff
Keith Jason 10/27/03 Deputy Sheriff
Martinez Denise 10/29/03 Detention Deputy
Wesley Angela 10/29/03 Detention Deputy
Laster George 12/29/03 Maintenance  Assistant
Allen Maria 11/10/03 School Crossing Guard Substitute
Stanley Tamara 01/08/04 Teen Court Counselor

Birthdays

To view a list of birthdays for the month of February, click here.

General News

Ten Fatal Errors That Have Killed Experienced Lawmen

Borrowed from www.alabamastatetrooper.com

1. YOUR ATTITUDE   If you fail to keep your mind on the job while on patrol or you carry problems from home into the field, you will start to make errors. It can cost you or other fellow officers their lives. Are you wearing your bullet resistant armor? It could save your life.

2.  TOMBSTONE COURAGE   No one doubts that you are courageous. But in any situation where time allows, wait for the backup. There are few instances where alone, unaided you should try and make a dangerous apprehension.

3.  NOT ENOUGH REST   To do your job you must be alert. Being sleepy or asleep on the job is not only against regulations but you endanger yourself, the community and all your fellow officers.

4. TAKING A BAD POSITION   Never let anyone you are questioning or about to stop get in a better position than you and your vehicle. There is no such thing as a routine call or stop. They are all "unknown risk" calls or stops.

5.  DANGER SIGNS   As a lawman you will get to recognize danger signs . Movements, strange cars, warnings that should alert you to watch your step and approach with caution. Know your beat, your community and watch for what is out of place.

6. FAILURE TO WATCH HANDS OF A SUSPECT   Is he or she reaching for a weapon or getting ready to strike you? Where else can a potential killer strike but from his or her hands?

7.  RELAXING TOO SOON   The rut of false alarms that are accidentally set off. Walking in and asking if the place is being held up. Observe the activity. Never take any call as routine, or just another false alarm. It's your life on the line.

8.  IMPROPER USE OR NO HANDCUFFS   Once you have made an arrest handcuff the prisoner and do it properly. See that the hands that can kill are safely cuffed.

9.  NO SEARCH OR POOR SEARCH   There are so many places to hide weapons that your failure to search is a crime against fellow officers. Many criminals carry several weapons and are able and prepared to use them against you.

10. DIRTY OR INOPERATIVE WEAPON   Is your firearm clean? Will it fire? How about the ammo? When did you last fire so that you can hit a target in combat conditions? What's the sense of carrying any firearm that may not work?

Line of Duty deaths lowest since 1996; Florida tied for 5th in the nation with 7 deaths last year

Statistics taken from the Officer Down Memorial Page,  http://www.odmp.org/

Total Line of Duty Deaths in 2003: 146

Breakdown of type of death in 2003 Totals by month in 2003: Deaths in previous years
  Aircraft accident: 1
  Assault: 3
  Automobile accident: 42
  Drowned: 4
  Electrocuted: 1
  Fall: 2
  Gunfire: 47
  Gunfire (Accidental): 2
  Heart attack: 6
  Motorcycle accident: 7
  Stabbed: 1
  Struck by train: 1
  Struck by vehicle: 7
  Vehicular assault: 10
  Vehicle pursuit: 12
   January: 11
   February: 8
   March: 8
   April: 16
   May: 15
   June: 15
   July: 15
   August: 11
   September: 7
   October: 9
   November: 17
   December: 14

2002: 153
2001: 237
2000: 161
1999: 151
1998: 175
1997: 178
1996: 146

 

Identity Theft

From the Florida Department of Law Enforcement

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) recognizes that identity theft is a growing concern among Florida's citizens. Identity theft is defined as the illegal acquisition of personal information such as name, social security number, driver's license, or bank/credit account numbers in order to engage in unlawful acts and is a third degree felony under s. 817.568, Florida Statutes.

On October 15th, Attorney General Crist and FDLE will launch a new website designed to serve as the State of Florida's official portal for identity theft information.  The site will contain a specially designed "Identity Theft Victim Kit" to assist Floridians in navigating through the process of rebuilding their good names.  We encourage you to share this website with citizens in your community and with identity theft victims.  The site address is www.myfloridalegal.com/identitytheft

One component of the victim kit will provide instructions for initiating an identity theft claim for victims who suspect that their criminal record information has been compromised.  To address this issue, claimants will be instructed to complete the Compromised Identity Review Claim Form (copy attached), which includes (as a part of the form) a requirement for fingerprinting by any local law enforcement agency.  In order to maintain the integrity of this process, the local law enforcement agency will be responsible for mailing the completed form to FDLE in an official agency envelope, where the claimant’s fingerprints will be used to verify the identity of the claimant/victim.

The FDLE will compare the claimant’s personal identifiers and submitted fingerprints against the identifiers and fingerprints contained in the Computerized Criminal History (CCH) files and Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) database. The FDLE will contact local law enforcement agencies as necessary to obtain information related to the arrest in which the victim claims his/her identity was fraudulently used by another individual. 

If FDLE can verify, through a fingerprint comparison, that the claimant's personal identifiers have been used in a criminal record belonging to another person,  FDLE will provide the claimant with a “Compromised Identity Certificate” (copy attached).  This certificate will be issued on security enhanced paper. If the CCH files do not indicate that the claimant has been a victim of identity theft, the FDLE will provide the claimant with an appropriate letter to that effect.  

After issuing the Certificate, FDLE will make contact with those Florida law enforcement agencies in which the victim’s identifying data was fraudulently used to: a) request removal of fraudulent arrest information from local agency arrest records; and b) obtain local agency authorization to remove fraudulent arrest information from the CCH files. It is important to note that the FDLE, as Florida's central repository of criminal history information, records and stores information provided by Florida criminal justice agencies. The FDLE may not remove arrest or demographic information contained in the CCH files without appropriate authorization/documentation from the submitting/arresting agency or at the direction of the court.

All claims will be assigned a unique certificate number, and entered into a new FDLE database.  Law enforcement personnel, as well as civilian employers, landlords, etc., may access information in the database or verify the authenticity of a Compromised Identity Certificate by contacting the FDLE Quality Control Section-Compromised Identity at (850) 410-8880.

If you have any questions or concerns specifically regarding implementation of this process, please contact the Quality Control Section – Compromised Identity at (850) 410-8880 or via e-mail at compromisedidentity@fdle.state.fl.us

What’s Happening

  • Lee Johnston is collecting used printer cartridges for the SPCA, specifically any ink jet cartridge that has an electronic strip on them, such as the hp 930, 940, and 5550 series. If everyone would just courier them to the Information Systems office in Key West he would appreciate it.

Guess Who?