March / April 2005 Edition
Recently I have heard rumors circulating that the agency is going to implement "Comstat" for accountability reasons. For those of you who do not know what comstat is, it is an accountability system developed by the NYPD and later re-designed and tailored for the BSO's needs. NYPD called it "Comstat" and BSO tagged it with "Powertrack".
You might recall that BSO got into trouble recently for padding UCR data and closing cases by arresting innocent people. Part of the reason was that the pressure from Powertrack to have a high solve rate was so intense. Some BSO Detectives have been arrested as a result and investigations into the matter continue as we speak.
To address the rumors: our agency is not going to adopt either of these accountability programs, or any other accountability program. The rumors started because a few sergeants have not been pulling their weight and have failed to perform at acceptable levels. These individuals have been talked to individually about this issue and have been told their lack of activity is a problem, and that their future activity will be monitored and they will be held accountable should they not bring that level up to acceptable standards. This is only fair - if line level officers are held accountable, then supervisors should be as well.
If you have not been individually spoken to already, then you don't have a problem. Most of our sergeants are doing a good job and are producing activity at acceptable levels. If you are not one of the sergeants who are below average activity level, than the best thing that you can do is to continue on track and keep your activity up. Be positive - pay attention to your own issues and let others do the same.
If you have any questions or want to clear up any rumors you have heard, please ask me. I'd be happy to clear up rumors with the truth any time.
Sector 7 Report
By Captain Don Hiller
Sector 7 has had a busy, busy month with our emotions ranging from the highest of highs to the lowest of lows.
On March 21, we had our grand opening of the Roth Building. Over 100 people showed up for the ceremony and refreshments, and tours of the facility were given afterwards. The new upper Keys sub station, the Roth Building, is located at the old Mariners Hospital. The Sheriff purchased it with drug proceeds and it will house the Sheriffs Office, Public Defender, State Heath Department and the Clerks Office.
On a sad note, we lost one of our own this month, Sgt. Joseph Passarelli. A memorial was held for him at the Marathon Hanger with a tremendous turn out from numerous agencies. His parents, his young daughter, Julia, and her mother were present and they were overwhelmed with the kindness and support you extended them.
We welcome several new employees this month. Sgt Mitch Horn and Deputy Walt Allen return to us after many years working in Miami and Det Sgt. Gene Thompson is our new C.I.U. leader. All of them said they refused to come to Sector 7 unless they had a brand new sub-station, so we caved in and gave one to them (just kidding!). We look forward to working with each of you.
We say goodbye to Sgt Deb Ryan who is leaving us for greener pastures and Carol Albury-Johnson who was stolen by Sgt Dally at CAWAU. We wish you the best of luck and know that you will be missed. If you're up in our neck of the woods, please stop by and take a tour of the new building. We are like proud parents and would love to show you around. Till next time...
Business Security Training a Success
On February 28, 2005 our fraud seminar was a success. It was held at the community church across from the Marathon sub-station. Numerous business owners and managers from the Marathon area were in attendance. All who attended received visual aids including posters, DVDs, and pamphlets.
Topics that were covered during the seminar included, learning the Florida drivers license, learning the hidden securities of the new $20.00 and $50.00 bills, credit card fraud, check fraud, and video systems.
I would like to thank Deputy Lin Badman, Detective Lionel Vargas (now Sgt. Vargas), and Deputy Amanda Barger for their assistance. I would also like to thank TIB Bank for sending two of their spokespersons and lastly I would like to thank D-Bolt Video System for demonstrating their digital video system.
Thanks to everyone's effort, not only did those who were in attendance walk away with a better knowledge of how the criminal mind works, but they will now be more aware of possible fraud and not just see dollar signs when they are making a large sale.
This seminar required a $10.00 registration fee that was to benefit Relay for Life. A total of $310.00 was raised. This money was recently donated to Relay for Life and their fund raiser at Stanley Switlik School.
If any one is interested in any of the visual aids, I do have extras. I have posters showing the new $20.00 and $50.00 bills. I also have DVDs and VCR tapes on these bills. If you are interested you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will get them in the mail to you.
Sheriff names Officer and Employee of the Year
The Sheriff's Office honored it's Officers and it's Employees of the year for 2004 at a ceremony held March 11th, 2005.
The Employees of the Year are chosen from all of those who received one of the Sheriff’s Employee of the Quarter awards throughout the past year.
“The people chosen to be Employees of the Year are truly the best of the best – they have proven themselves to be outstanding employees, as well as outstanding contributors to the community they serve,” said Sheriff Rick Roth.
The yearly award winners received a special plaque from the Sheriff in recognition of their exemplary work, and a badge to wear on their uniforms with the designation “Officer of the Year”. In addition, they each receive a check for $500.00 donated by TIB Bank, and $1,000.00 from the Sheriff’s Office. The Cadet of the year receives $100.00 from TIB Bank, with a matching amount from the Sheriff’s Office.
The Cormier Memorial Award, given to the Sheriff’s Office Sworn Law Enforcement Officer of the Year, is named for Deputy David Cormier, a Sheriff’s reserve officer killed in the line of duty in a traffic accident in November of 1989. Members of the Cormier family attend the ceremony each year in memory of their loved one who gave his life in service to the community.
Letters of Thanks and Commendation
From the Finance Division
Travel and Training
I’ve just been advised by Training that my request for a class has been approved. What do I do now?
Thanks so much for asking that question. We get asked that a lot.
Training forwards a copy of your approved class/travel request to finance. The travel voucher submitted with your request was based on estimated expenses. It is now your responsibility to make all the necessary arrangements including class registration, hotel reservation, and all necessary transportation. Flight reservations are done through Key West Travel who bills the agency. (If you’re inclined to do so and can find a cheaper fare on line, you can book the reservation yourself. However, you will have to pay for it and then submit copies of the reservation and proof of payment for reimbursement.)
In order to take the hotel payment with you, we need to know which hotel you are staying at – surprise!! The easiest way to accomplish this is for you to supply us with another travel voucher with all the actual information on it. This would include: hotel name, address, cost and confirmation number, car rental company (if applicable), and travel times. Time of departure is based on the time you leave home (not the flight time) and the time you return home. These times determine the amount of per diem you receive.
Refer to the details printed on the back of the travel voucher.
The week before you travel, you will receive a check made payable to the hotel along with a tax-exempt certificate (if applicable) and a check for your per diem. In some instances, a check for the class fee will be provided to you to deliver. If the check has already been mailed, you will receive a copy of it to take with you.
Upon completion of your travel, you are required to complete a return voucher and submit it to Finance within 5 days. This voucher can simply be a copy of the original one with RETURN written across the top. Any receipts given to you (hotel, class enrollment) should be attached to this return voucher. Additional expenses incurred for which you are seeking reimbursement (tolls, taxi) must be listed on the voucher and all receipts attached. It must also be approved again and dated by your Lt. or Captain.
The Sheriff has recently approved an amendment to the reimbursement policy whereby anyone not completing a return voucher within 5 days will have the total of all advanced monies deducted from their next paycheck. The money will be returned through payroll when all completed paperwork is received and processed.
If all this sounds new to you, please see the General Operations Manual Chapter 55:3 (4.c.2). Also, Chapter 80:17 (7). It’s a lot easier than it sounds and once you do it you’ll see how well it works.
And of course, we’re available to answer your calls at any time.
Sheriff's Office receives perfect audit
Two years in a row, the Sheriff’s Office has received a perfect audit. In order to understand the importance of this accomplishment, one needs to know the Finance Department processed approximately $64.2 million for EYE 2004.
A total of fourteen people handle all the financial transactions. These transactions include processing checks to vendors for supplies and services, tuition reimbursement, travel requests, federal and state grants, special revenue accounts, the preparation of annual budgets, monthly financial statements and the ever-important employee payroll. Finance personnel ensure that the monies received from local, state and federal grants are spent in accordance with their specific requirements.
The Finance Division is responsible for the purchasing agent and supply personnel. The purchasing agent researches vendors, compares products and services, compiles bids and orders all products and services. Supply personnel monitor and disburse the supplies once they are received. In EYE 2004, supply personnel were able to reduce on-hand inventory, saving the agency thousands of dollars.
When the Sheriff’s Office acquires a fixed asset that costs more than $750, the inventory specialist tags and records the asset. In addition, he ensures a physical inventory of all fixed assets is conducted and reported annually including HIDTA assets located in South Florida, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.
The Finance Department manages the fleet of vehicles owned and operated by the Sheriff’s Office. The fleet manager monitors fuel consumption, repairs and maintenance, auctions, and annual fleet purchases.
From the Office of Professional Standards
What was that Accreditation Inspection All About?
As you know the Sheriff’s Office just completed our CALEA On-site inspection for re-accreditation. The assessment team that conducted the on-site was comprised of a retired NY State Police major, and two lieutenants from Colorado and Indiana sheriff’s offices.
So what does accreditation mean? The Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) is the national accrediting body. For more information on CALEA anyone can visit their web site at www.calea.org.
Under CALEA we are a “D” size agency (300+ personnel). There are 446 CALEA standards for our agency size, many of which contain several sub-bullets. Of those 446, some standards are designated as “Other than Mandatory”. Of those “Other than Mandatory” standards an agency may chose not to comply with 20% of them without giving a reason. Also an agency is not required to comply with standards that are “Not Applicable by Function”.
So were do we stand? Of the 446 standards we placed 13 into that 20%, which put us at 15.1% of the 20% allowed, and we had 51 N/A by Function for a total of 382 standards that we complied with.
Of the Other than Mandatory standards we brought into compliance several that we did not comply with on our initial accreditation. We also put a couple into the 20% category that we had complied with on initial accreditation.
There were four (4) mandatory standards were we were weak in showing our compliance. These weaknesses had to be corrected before the on-site team left. These involved how we account for traffic citations after they are issued to deputies, the analysis of motor vehicle pursuits, in-car videotape security and retention and firearms disqualification/remediation issues.
Policies were change to correct the problems the on-site team found. These policies are being further refined and notices will follow as to the changes.
Some believe that accreditation is a rubber stamp. Pay the fee and get accredited. That is far from the truth. Talk to Sheri Cuervo or Butch Albury and ask them if it is a rubber stamp. We can also give you the names of some assessors who can tell you first hand accounts of agencies not making the grade.
Back to the 13 “Other than Mandatory” standards we did not choose to comply with. As we begin our new three year CALEA accreditation cycle we will be bringing these 13 standards into compliance. Some policies will need to be changed as needed and with some we just need to do what is already in place. The point is we will be striving to be in compliance will all our “Other than Mandatory” standards in 2007 during the next on-site.
That brings me to my last point. We begin again. This year is the first of our three (3) year CALEA cycle AND we look forward to State re-accreditation in 2006.
Thus accreditation is a continual process to which Sheriff Roth is committed. Accreditation is part of the way we do business as a law enforcement agency.
Some things we do as a result of accreditation, either CALEA or State, and some things we do simply because that is the way we do them.
We are only successful in achieving re-accreditation status as a direct result of everyone in the agency doing their job and each individual’s commitment to providing professional law enforcement services to the citizens of Monroe County.Thank you to all the personnel who took a direct part during the recent on-site inspection. Your professionalism speaks louder than our paper files ever will.
From the Southernmost Federal Credit Union
FYI! Southernmost Federal Credit Union is your sponsor Credit Union. If you are not yet a member please call or stop by and join. Take advantage of our customer service, and low fees. We are here to help you. The Credit Union is located at 1004 Kennedy Drive. Our phone number is 296-6568, or you can visit our website at www.smfcu.net.
Employee Health Fairs - 2005
It is time once again for Employee Health Fairs. There will be one in the Lower Keys at the Harvey Government Center on April 13th from 8:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. The second health fair, in the middle Keys, will be held at the Marathon Government Center on May 12th from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monroe County and Sheriff's Office employees who wish to take part in one of these health fairs should contact the Group Insurance Office at 292-4450 to make an appointment or for more information. The Health Fairs are all FREE OF CHARGE!
The fairs will include:
Special Deals and Offers