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

Table of Contents

Sheriff’s Report, Page 1

Ask the Admin., Page 1

General News, Page 1

Thanks from Accreditation Team

Info. Management Update

Bureau of Operations, Page 2

Bureau of Corrections, Page 4

Accreditation Report

New Camera System

Officer Spotlights

Awards, Page 6

Training, Page 8

For Your Info., Page 9

What’s Happening, Page 12

Poetry Corner

Crime Stoppers can help, Page 13

MCSO Photo Spread, Page 14

Sheriff’s Report

Issues of Concern

Split Tax. What does the County Commission’s vote mean?

Good question. I think we are all in the process of figuring that one out. I will say up front that no one should worry about job cuts. I don’t anticipate any positions being eliminated, and as a matter of fact, I believe we will be adding a number of law enforcement positions in order to provide the necessary officers to each of the incorporated areas.

I can also tell you that we have begun talks with Islamorada and Key Colony Beach, and expect to talk with Marathon soon. The contract talks we have participated in so far have gone very well. Islamorada has indicated they would like more officers than are currently provided to them, so it looks like once we sign a contract with them, we will be adding a number of officers to fill those positions. They have indicated they would like a lieutenant and two or three sergeants in addition to patrol officers. These positions will all be posted within the agency first, and officers currently working for the Sheriff’s Office will be given the opportunity to apply for them before we hire anyone from outside the agency. Keep your eyes open for the job postings if you are interested. When it comes to the lieutenant’s position, we will post it within the agency first as well. Depending on the terms of the contract, we will most likely choose three candidates for the position. Those candidates will then be presented to the city for their final decision.

Remember, the agency is still responsible for providing “regional” services to everyone in the county, including the city of Key West. These regional services include all units in the Special Investigations Division (Drug Investigations, Crimes Against Women and Children, Traffic Enforcement, SWAT, Dive), K-9 teams, Crime Prevention Officers, School Resource Officers, etc.

You may have heard some people out there criticizing our agency and the way we do business. Some of them are using inaccurate information in an effort to discredit us. We have not responded to these people for a good reason: I refuse to enter into a pointless debate about whether or not we have a professional, effective, efficient agency. I know, and everyone who works here knows we are one of the best law enforcement agencies in the state. It is our job to protect and serve the citizens of Monroe County and we do that exceptionally well. We should all be proud of the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office.

Remember, enforcing the law and keeping order is our business, and we will continue to do it county wide for everyone. Our mission has not changed. No matter what you hear, or what anyone may say to the contrary, we are good at what we do, and we will continue to conduct ourselves professionally.

Elections are just around the corner

Elections are just around the corner, including the election for Sheriff. During the last election, the politics sometimes turned nasty and there were some hard feelings generated. I do not want that to happen in the upcoming election. I would like to stress that, despite the political season, we all must be able to work closely together without having politics interfere in the quality of the performance of our duties.

Remember, politicking while on the job is totally unacceptable. What you do on your own time is your own business, but let’s all decide right now to put the politics on the back burner when we put on our uniforms and go to work.

When the election is over, everyone in the agency must continue working together. To that end, please treat your fellow employee’s opinions with respect, and do not let political disagreements effect the way we all do our jobs.

Before the election, you will more than likely be meeting candidates both around the office and in the community while off duty. Please treat these candidates with respect as well, no matter what your personal feelings may be.

Ask the Administration

For those of you who have submitted questions, I’m sorry that I could not get you answers for this issue. Before I could submit them, the Sheriff’s wife became ill and he has been out of the office. I will submit them for answers before the next issue comes out.

General News

Thanks for all the work—we did it!

The Sheriff’s Office Accreditation Team (Mike Scott, Kimm Rothman and Olga Perez) would like to thank everyone for their help over the past months as they prepared the agency for State Accreditation.

The formal Accreditation Inspection took place the week of March 13th, and the inspectors were impressed with the agency. We are being recommended for Accreditation, and should be signed off on soon.

Thank you to everyone in the agency. You made a tremendous effort, and it paid off. Good job!

The M.C.S.O. and the Internet

As you are probably aware by now, the Monroe County Sheriff's Office has a high speed direct connection to the Internet. This connection (and the cost) is shared between the State Attorney’s Office, the Courts, the Public Defender’s Office and us.

This connection allows all of us now unlimited access to the Internet. (Well, almost unlimited, but I’ll explain that in a minute.) You can now fire up your browser and search on the web for legal research, law enforcement news, etc.

As many of you know there’s a ton of stuff out on the World Wide Web. Some of it is actually useful. I should point out a couple of things. First, there’s a general order that covers what is acceptable for members of the M.C.S.O. to view and do on the Web. Please refer to chapter 52 for the complete order. I’ll highlight a couple of the more salient points here:

i. No member shall download or otherwise copy any material from the Internet or any other computer that is illegal or pornographic in nature.

ii. No member shall use the Monroe County Sheriff's Office computers or network to produce or distribute any material that is illegal or pornographic.

Obviously, there may be exceptions, but these will be handled on a case-by-case basis and should be cleared through a person’s chain of command.

Second, all the traffic to and from the Internet goes through a firewall. (A firewall is a computer that examines each packet of data that passes through it.) The firewall is primarily used to protect our internal network from intruders (i.e. hackers). In doing so, it also monitors and logs all of the traffic. We use these logs to monitor loads on the network and, as part of the package, can see who’s going to what sites on the Internet. I don’t want to sound like, nor am I, Big Brother. That’s not my purpose. Part of my job is to monitor and protect our network. You should be aware, however, that this kind of monitoring does occur.

We also use the firewall to restrict certain types of traffic. Some traffic (specifically streaming audio and video) puts a tremendous load on the network and is blocked by the firewall. Our network is a finite resource and we have to be careful how we use it.

The M.C.S.O. has established a web site at www.keysso.net. (Becky Herrin maintains this site. So please direct any questions or comments about it to her.) There’s a lot of good stuff on it (like the General Orders) as well as some links to other sites of interest. If you would like to see anything added to the site, or have any suggestions please contact Becky at beckyherrin@keysso.net.

I have also set up Internet email for everyone in the agency. (If you haven’t gotten a letter about your email account by now, please call me and I’ll get one set up for you.) I have set everyone up pretty much the same, i.e. using their first initial and full last name for their email account. (Therefore, if you wanted to send the ever lovely and wonderful Bob Bruening mail, you’d use his first initial “b” and his last name “bruening” and add “@keysso.net” to the end. So Bob’s email address is bbruening@keysso.net.)

This email is our “external” email. It is not what we’re going to use to replace the AVOffice mail system. (That’s another article.) The email address you have been given is to distribute to your professional contacts outside the agency. You can use this to send (or receive) any kind of e-mail that you would care to (i.e. pictures, documents, etc.). You should keep in mind that since this email system is owned and maintained by the Sheriff’s Office, it falls under all the appropriate public records laws which, for the most part, say that everything you send and receive is a public document (with exceptions for criminal investigative, criminal intelligence, and some other types of information).

If you want to check your agency e-mail from home, you can dial in using any internet connection, access the Sheriff’s Office web site (www.keysso.net) and you will find a mail connection there. Then, simply log in using the same user name and password you use to log onto the mainframe computer system.

If you have any questions or comments about our network (including the Internet connection) please fell free to contact me at 292-7027 or even better, (you’ll get brownie points) by email at mgrattan@keysso.net.

Bureau of Operations

Special Investigations

Detectives from the Special Investigations Division have been busy over the past month. Among their accomplishments:

That’s a lot of drugs and dealers off the streets! Good job, detectives!

In the photo: Cocaine and cash
seized at a Stock Island residence.


District Three Zone Meeting

Sgt. Lou Caputo gets together regularly with his upper Keys Zone 302 Advisory Board to make sure the citizens in that zone are happy with the way his officers are doing things. At the meetings, he reports activities to the board, and receives suggestions from them about what they would like to see accomplished.


Traffic Enforcement

By Traffic Enforcement Sgt. Larry Kelley

The Traffic Enforcement Unit wishes all of you a very safe and happy new millennium. On the heels of this occasion I am going to try to keep an article from the unit in each of the upcoming Rap Sheet editions. I will have bits of information on current events we are engaged in and the support functions that we have been performing. I will also try to address any issues or questions that you may have in regards to the unit and our activities.

The Traffic Unit recently underwent an overhaul of equipment and at that time we were able to free up 6 excellent traffic radar units with dual antennas. These units were sent out for certification and then turned in for distribution to patrol.

During November and December coordination was made with FHP and two separate Radar Operator Certification classes were given, one in Islamorada and one in Marathon. Both were a success with only one hitch but that was straightened out and the show went on. This enabled 16 officers to become Radar certified. A Laser Operator class was also offered and new laser operators are now free to terrorize speeders in crowded school zones or high volume roads where the use of a radar unit can be difficult. The Traffic Unit has three Laser Units and with prior notification a request can be made through the Traffic Unit Supervisor for the temporary use of one of these units.


The Traffic Division during a recent inspection.

Motor units escorted hundreds of motorcycles from the ABATE club in their annual Christmas Toys for Tots motorcycle run both from Key West and Key Largo—at the same time—to Marathon. This is a very refreshing escort for us as we usually confront these bikers in more unpleasant situations throughout the year.

The Motor Unit also escorted the Marathon Volunteer Fire Department on their annual Christmas Caroling trip through the Middle Keys. Unfortunately Sgt. (now Lieutenant) Rick Ramsay was injured when an ambulance took an unexpected left turn in front of his motor. Rick is fine—he only lost about one pound of skin but a ton of his pride was injured. I told him a long time ago—there are two types of Motor Officers—those that have been down and those that are going down. He believes me now. It was his first time on the pavement—wait a minute—I stand corrected. It wasn’t his first time on the pavement—it was just his first time on the pavement due to a motorcycle accident. Ask Rick if you want more details. Sorry Ricky—I had to go there.

During the first week of this new year I detailed Deputies Diane and Kevin Mimosa to escort a young lady who was attempting to ride her bike from Key Largo to Key West—a distance of 100 miles. She was gong to try for twenty miles each day. This is a stretch for even an adult in good shape. But the story gets even better. Candice Wagener is 15 years old and suffers from a debilitating disease called “Cornelia de Lange Syndrome”.

Diane and Kevin Mimosa, pictured with Candice Wagener and her parents after the 100 mile bike ride.
Diane and Kevin contacted Candice’s parents, Dr. and Mrs. Craig Wagener of the Lower Keys, and set up the escort. One of them drove a Traffic Unit and the other rode a police bicycle. They did this five days in a row. The operation was such a success that the Wageners wanted to present the Mimosas with an award. I invited them to the Traffic Unit’s monthly meeting at the Turtle Hospital in Marathon. The Sheriff attended and we all met Candice and found her to be a uniquely strong young lady.

 The Wageners told us that Diane and Kevin were an inspiration to Candice and that some days Candice needed special attention to keep going and Diane and Kevin were right there with the words needed. I congratulate them for their attention and dedication to duty.

In January the Traffic Unit assisted with traffic safety control for the 5 K Run at Sombrero Resort. Just another weekend detail that requires Traffic Officers to stand posts and work dirty gritty traffic points. But you might have noticed—that is what we live for.

Other duties performed by the Traffic Unit in the last few months have been to run voter ballots up and down the entire length of the Keys for the Supervisor of Elections and stand security at all County Commission Meetings in all the Districts. We also performed security and escort for past President George Bush in Islamorada. It was during this Fishing Tournament that television fishing legend Curt Gowdy’s car was ticketed in a Disabled Space by an un-named Traffic Deputy. The Gowdy’s paid $250 for that one, but realized their mistake. I remember 8 years ago when I ticketed Vice President Dan Quail’s limousine in a Disabled Space at the NOAA station in Key Largo; maybe he couldn’t spell “disabled” correctly. Oh well; we all have our moments.

We have also supported District One on numerous occasions in school zones and parking lots at the request of Capt. Joe Leiter and Lt. Bruce Winegarden. I would like to say that they are trying hard to get proper school zone markings and signs throughout the district. I’m grateful for their efforts in this matter as this signage is badly needed.

We will have to keep giving attention to the Courthouse parking lot in Key West for a while though. That place is a true mess. While Deputy Butch Albury was ticketing illegally parked vehicles on the perimeter the drivers told him that they would not mind getting the tickets as long as the violators who parked inside the lot without permits were ticketed. We could have written an entire book of parking tickets that day.

Capt. Leiter, I promise we will keep on top of this and the school zones. We have also provided Road Patrol coverage during the latest injury and sick spell in the District and were glad to come to your aid. Let me know when you need further coverage.

We also assisted District One with the Millennium Festival in Key West. By the way—a funny thing happened on our way to the New Year’s Eve Roll Call. We all met to eat at Denny’s well prior to the beginning of shift and got up to pay with over 15 minutes to spare. When, wouldn’t you know it, a juvenile gang of at least 10 “Separate Checks From Hell” were in front of us at the register. The cashier, her first day on the job no doubt, was overwhelmed and we were a bit late for Roll Call. My apologies to Lt. Winegarden. He supervised the detail and did an excellent job putting together a fine crew that made the very long night pass quickly and safely, even if not quietly. I must say that the fireworks display in the city was one of the most beautiful I have ever seen.

District Three has had their hands full. The Traffic Unit set up and supervised a massive off duty detail in Key Largo at Pennekamp State Park for the Triathlon. Over 40 officers were given the opportunity to work for off duty pay. This event will be coming again this year and I am planning the same coverage—and even though I was unsuccessful the first time, I will again try to get you the pay you deserve.

Capt. Bell-Thomson asked for some support in setting up traffic control for a Running Event in Islamorada on New Year’s Day. The Traffic Unit was unable to respond to this, as we were in Key West standing post on Duval Street the prior night for the New Year’s Festival. She set up the traffic control for this event and I am told it went off very smoothly. Congratulations on a job we wish we could have worked with you on.

Other activities that we have done in the Upper Keys are numerous wolf packs on the stretch and in Islamorada where the Motor Unit has been hammering the “Center Lane Mafia” and the “Old Highway Racers”. We do love our job so.

At the request of Deputy Larry Benedict, the Motor Unit set up at the entrance of Ocean Reef Club numerous days over a period of two weeks and wrote nearly 80 tickets for everything from expired tags to criminal traffic offenses. We wrote some drivers twice for the same violations on subsequent days. I wrote one lady a ticket for unlawful passing who told me that she was 5 minutes late for a “tee-off time”.

Sgt. Roy Bogue has been in contact with me and given me much information on places to go and the violations to find in the Islamorada area. A note to all Deputies, Sergeants, Lieutenants et al—let me know where we can find the “nary-do-wells” and we will hammer ‘em.

We assisted Sergeant Tom Kiffney and District Three in a DUI checkpoint in February. Tom has done many of these before and it is a pleasure to work with him. His checkpoints are always safe and successful. He is a consummate professional when it comes to targeting DUI’s and getting them off the street.

I know this has been lengthy, but I wanted to get you up to date on our activities. I will look forward to contact with any of you who have information, criticism or complaints. That is why I am here. And the reason why the Traffic Unit is here is to support you in your duties throughout the County.

See you next time—and always remember—“Press hard, five copies!”

Bureau of Corrections


By Captain Robert Rothman and his Assistant Mary Cohen, the BOC Accreditation Team

This is the first article in what will become a continuing effort to inform and update all employees on the accreditation process for the Bureau of Corrections. Following are some common questions that are asked about accreditation.

Why should the BOC become accredited?

This process will allow administrative staff to remedy deficiencies and upgrade the quality of correctional programs and services. The recognized benefits from such a process include:

  • improved management
  • a defense against lawsuits
  • potential reduction in liability through adoption of sound operating practices
  • demonstration of a "good faith" effort to improve conditions of confinement
  • increased accountability
  • enhanced public credibility for administrative and line staff
  • a safer and more humane environment for personnel and inmates
  • establishment of measurable criteria for upgrading programs, personnel, and physical plant.

Who is FCAC?

The Florida Corrections Accreditation Commission, Inc. (FCAC) is responsible for all aspects of the state corrections accreditation process. The overall purpose of the Commission is to improve the delivery of correctional services through an accreditation program based on Florida law and practices.

What are the steps in the Accreditation Process?

All facilities follow the same basic path to achieve accreditation. The steps are:

  1. the facility signs a contract (usually for a two year period)
  2. applicable accreditation fees are paid based on bed capacity
  3. a self-assessment is conducted by the facility to determine levels of compliance
  4. an "On-Site" Assessment is conducted by trained Florida assessors
  5. an accreditation decision is made by the Florida Corrections Accreditation Commission
  6. accredited status is granted for three years, at the end of which the facility may apply for reaccreditation

Once accredited, all facilities submit an annual statement to the FCAC Executive Director verifying continued compliance with the standards. Also, a subsequent monitoring visit may be conducted at any time during the accreditation period to ensure continued compliance with the appropriate standards.

Right now we are in the self-assessment phase. During this time we will be conducting a comprehensive review of all operational aspects of the facility.

The standards used for accreditation address services, programs, and operations essential to good correctional management. These include administrative and fiscal controls, staff training and development, physical plant, safety and emergency procedures, sanitation, food service, rules and discipline - a variety of subjects that comprise good correctional and business practice.

These standards are under continual revision to reflect changing practice, current case law and new knowledge.

At the end of the self-assessment period, a "Self-Evaluation Report" is submitted to the FCAC Executive Director. This report identifies levels of compliance with the standards (agencies must meet 100% of the mandatory standards, and at least 90% of the applicable non-mandatory standards). The term "applicable non-mandatory standards" means that, in some cases, not all standards may apply to a given facility by virtue of function. For example, a mandatory standard may require certain criteria be met to house juveniles, yet at one facility no juveniles are housed; instead they are transported to another site. This, then is "not applicable" by virtue of function. There are 266 total standards (82 mandatory and 184 non-mandatory).

After the self-assessment period is completed, we will do a mock inspection (scheduled for May 8th-12th). We will have approximately two months to fix problem areas before our real "On-Site" inspection (scheduled for July 18th-21st). Your full cooperation will be appreciated.

If you have any further questions, contact the Accreditation Manager, Captain Rothman, or the Accreditation Specialist, Mary Cohen, at 293-7338.

New Camera System

By Major Tommy Taylor

I want to take this opportunity to express my sincere appreciation to the Bureau of Corrections team for your outstanding work. Your long hours and dedication to the mission of the Sheriff’s Office and the Bureau of Corrections did not go unnoticed. Keep up the great work.

The new security camera system installation is almost complete. Plantation and Marathon jails are nearly finished with the exception of some minor adjustments to the system. The main jail is about 90% complete.

Our overall security posture is greatly enhanced by the new system. Improving our physical security posture in the jail will not only give us more eyes and ears with the cameras, but will enhance our officer’s safety. Sheriff Roth authorized the money for the system out of the Federal Forfeiture Fund to further the efficiency and effectiveness of jail operations.

Officer Spotlights

Detention Deputy Todd

Todd Silvers was born August 3, 1967 at Homestead Air Force Base. His family moved to Key West in 1970. He graduated from Key West High School in 1985, joined the Army on 1986 and spent 8 years serving his country. Todd served his two Army tours in Germany as a Communications Specialist.

Todd returned to Key West in 1994 and was hired by the Sheriff’s Office in May of 1995. He is currently assigned to night watch and is a member of the jail Corrections Emergency Response Team (CERT).

On a personal note, Todd enjoys collecting sports cards, playing on the computer and spending time with his girlfriend Danette.

Lt. Joe Saly

Joe was born in Toledo, Ohio, a product of Hungarian immigrant parents, and was raised in a rural area where he developed an early love for hunting, fishing and the outdoors in general.

He spent most of his adult life in a twenty five year career in food service in the Chicago area. The work was demanding but it provided the means for Joe and his wife Kate to travel, hunt and fish in many parts of the world.

After entering semi-retirement, they decided to build a home in the Keys and possibly buy a mom and pop business.

During the summer of 1989, while talking to his real estate agent, Phil Ferraro (a nice guy, but I don’t think I’d buy anything from him), they convinced each other to apply for jobs as C.O.s for the new jail being built in Plantation Key. They were accepted—and the rest is history.

The international hunting and fishing trips are few and far between now, but he developed a love for fishing in the back country and teaching young people to have an appreciation for outdoor sports.

Det. Dep. Gardiner Betts

Gardiner Betts was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts October 4, 1939. He is the oldest of five children and graduated from Rindge Technical High School in Cambridge.

Upon graduation, he entered the U.S. Marine Corps and served four years, doing brief tours in Hawaii and Vietnam. He got married during the last year he was in the military, and was honorably discharged.

Gardiner returned to Boston, where he lived with his wife and two children. Those children, a daughter and a son, are now grown and have children of their own.

He and his wife later divorced and he worked as a transit bus driver. He eventually met and married his present wife Susan while working for a florist in Boston.

The two of them went into the floral business, but got tired of the cold New England weather and decided to relocate to Key West, Florida.

After holding a few jobs in Key West, Gardiner applied for and was hired by the Sheriff’s Office. He has just completed his fifth year with the Sheriff’s Office.

Gardiner and his wife, Susan have a beautiful daughter Julia Brianna who will turn 3 years old next month.


Congratulations, Officers of the Fourth Quarter

Employees of the Fourth Quarter, 1999: Detention Sgt. Mike Gent, Reserve Officer Charlene Sprinkle, Cadet William “Joey” Haney and Sheriff Rick Roth. Not pictured: Support member Ernie Scott and Sworn member Det. Lazaro Valdes.

Sworn Employee of the Quarter: Detective Lazaro Valdes, Bureau of Operations, Division IV, Special Operations

Lazaro has been a member of the Sheriff's Office since March 23, 1992. On December 7, 1999, Lazaro was working in the Stock Island area undercover when he heard a "burglary in-progress call". Upon arrival at the apartment complex, Lazaro was able to ascertain a general description of the subject from the victim and immediately started to canvas Old Shrimp Road. With the subject's description in hand, Lazaro recognized the individual emerging from the mangroves. After confronting the subject, the subject pulled a screwdriver and a knife and pointed at Lazaro in an aggressive manner. Lazaro immediately started issuing verbal commands in which the subject complied and was taken into custody without further incident.

In a separate matter, Lazaro was assigned to our Internal Affairs Division to work undercover on a difficult criminal investigation involving another member of this agency. After several weeks of this investigation, Lazaro was instrumental in making a criminal case against this member. Lazaro should be commended for his actions and the service oriented approach he takes towards his job.

Support Employee of the Quarter: Background Investigator Ernie Scott, Bureau of Administration, Human Resources Division

Ernie has been a member of the Sheriff's Office since January 22, 1996, and currently holds the District I Sergeant's position within our Reserve Unit. Ernie has put in hundreds of hours of community service at many of the Community Relations Children's Fairs, Crime Prevention Fairs, and other events that were sponsored throughout the year by the Community Relation's Division. He's always available and doesn't seem to know the meaning of the word "NO"! Ernie is one of the most up beat, supportive, and positive individuals working for this agency with a heart of gold and a spirit that is refreshing.

Corrections Officer of the Quarter: Detention Sergeant Michael Gent, Bureau of Corrections, Plantation Key Detention Facility

Mike has been a member of the Sheriff's Office since May 9, 1991, and currently holds the First Sergeant's position within the Bureau of Corrections. On many occasions over the past year, Mike has been called upon for assistance and guidance when dealing with unusual occurrences. It doesn't matter if it's a Holiday or 2:00 a.m. in the morning Mike is always courteous, helpful, and cheerfully provides the necessary instructions to his fellow officers. Mike also takes an active role in recruiting for the agency and has traveled throughout the state promoting the Sheriff's Office. During his spare time, Mike actively participates in the Sheriff's Office Shooting Team for the Law Enforcement Olympics and is a medallist from 1997. In 1999 Mike missed the medal by only one point in the Bull's-Eye competition. This year is his year……

Reserve Officer of the Quarter: Reserve Sergeant Charlene Sprinkle, Bureau of Operations, Reserve Section

Charlene has been a member of the Sheriff's Office since August 10, 1994. Along with being a Reserve Officer, Charlene works as a Communications Officer out of our Marathon Substation. Charlene is known to be the backbone of the Reserves in District II. She is dedicated to the program and is always there when the district needs reserves to help out. Charlene should be commended for her actions and the service oriented approach she takes towards her job.

Cadet of the Quarter: Explorer William (Joey) Haney, Bureau of Operations, Explorer Section

Joey has been a member of Post 905 for the past 2 1/2 years, and has logged in over 100 hours of community service. Joey has always been eager to learn and has taken an active part in recruiting for the post. Recently, Joey took over the leadership position on the new Junior Post and has showed outstanding leadership qualities. Joey is currently organizing a dance at his church to raise money for the upcoming American Cancer Relay for Life event held the first week in May.

Congratulations, Employees of the Year, 1999

Employees of the Year: left to right, Res. Dep. David Campbell, Sgt. Lou Caputo, Sheriff Roth, HRD Specialist Ernie Scott, Det. Sgt. Mike Gent and Cadet Eric Kosec.

Sworn Officer of the Year: Deputy Lou Caputo, Bureau of Operations, Division III, Road Patrol

Lou has been a member of the Sheriff's Office since September 30, 1991. Over the past several months Lou has been addressing the needs of the homeless in his area by creating "Project Good Samaritan". This program allows the collection of basic items of need to be carried in each patrol car for distribution by deputies who encounter someone without resources. Lou also heads up our Reserve Program in District III. Under his leadership, the Reserves spend their weekends on bicycles and on foot going out into the community and addressing crime and quality of life issues in our troubled neighborhoods, post house numbers on homes, provide information on local services, and make contact with the residents to discuss their law enforcement concerns.

Support Employee of the Year: Background Investigator Ernie Scott, Bureau of Administration, Human Resources Division

Ernie has been a member of the Sheriff's Office since January 22, 1996, and currently holds the District I Sergeant's position within our Reserve Unit. Ernie has put in hundreds of hours of community service at many of the Community Relations Children's Fairs, Crime Prevention Fairs, and other events which were sponsored throughout the year by the Community Relation's Division. He's always available and doesn't seem to know the meaning of the word "NO"! Ernie is one of the most up beat, supportive, and positive individuals working for this agency with a heart of gold and a spirit that is refreshing.

Corrections Officer of the Year: Detention Sergeant Michael Gent, Bureau of Corrections, Plantation Key Detention Facility

Mike has been a member of the Sheriff's Office since May 9, 1991, and currently holds the First Sergeant's position within the Bureau of Corrections. On many occasions over the past year, Mike has been called upon for assistance and guidance when dealing with unusual occurrences. It doesn't matter if it's a Holiday or 2:00 a.m. in the morning Mike is always courteous, helpful, and cheerfully provides the necessary instructions to his fellow officers. Mike also takes an active role in recruiting for the agency and has traveled throughout the state promoting the Sheriff's Office. During his spare time, Mike actively participates in the Sheriff's Office Shooting Team for the Law Enforcement Olympics and is a medallist from 1997. In 1999 Mike missed the medal by only one point in the Bull's-Eye competition. This year is his year…..

Reserve Officer of the Year: Reserve Officer David Campbell, Bureau of Operations, Reserve Section

David has been a member of the Sheriff's Office since November 2, 1998. Since his appointment as a Reserve, David has assisted the Honor Guard in forming a Piping Corps which has helped enhanced the image, prestige, and presence of the Sheriff's Office. In addition to his honor guard duties, David agreed to assist the Marathon Substation by volunteering his time as the School Crossing Guard in Marathon. Since that time, he has performed this function twice a week for the past six months which has been an invaluable service to the Road Patrol Section who otherwise would have to provide the appropriate coverage. David should be commended for his actions and the service oriented approach he takes towards his job.

Cadet of the Year: Explorer Cadet Erik Kosec, Bureau of Operations, Explorer Cadet

Erik has been a member of Post 904 for the past year and has proven to be a valuable asset. When Erik became involved in the post, he participated in boot camps, delegate meetings, community safety days, public awareness programs, and work projects. Erik has been a part of the success of the teen court program and continues to work closely with the State Attorney's Office to provide continuity. Over the summer the Florida Association of School Resource Officer's hosted a conference in Key West. Erik, along with the assistance of his post, did a great deal of prep work for the conference to ensure its success. Erik is also known for his artistry and was responsible for the conference's theme which was printed on over 300 t-shirts and handed out to the conference participants. Between participating in the post and after school activities, Erik has maintained a high GPA.

Training Announcements

Florida Keys Community College Institute of Criminal Justice
Instructor Techniques Workshop

When: June 5—16th, 2000, from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. To be taught in Marathon at the Florida Monroe Regional Service Center, 2796 Overseas Highway, mm 47.5

Description: This 80 hour course is required by FDLE to become certified by the CJSTC as a Criminal Justice Instructor. Course is intended for certified law enforcement and corrections officers and selected agency support personnel. It is designed to train participants in topics such as adult learning theory, human diversity for instructions, lesson plan development, test question development, trainer liability and other topics related to techniques of instruction.

To Enroll: Monroe County deputies and Key West Police officers contact their internal training divisions. Other interested individuals should contact the Institute of Criminal Justice. Enrollment is on a first-come first-served basis as received from local agencies. Certified law enforcement officers in Region 14 have first priority.

Appropriate attire required. Blue jeans, shorts, Tank tops, T-shirts are UNACCEPTABLE. The deadline for enrollment is Thursday, June 1, 2000.

To obtain an application or for further information, please contact the Institute of Criminal Justice at (305) 296-9081 ext. 200 or visit room P210, Public Safety Building, FKCC, 5901 College Road, Stock Island

Union Institute offers degree programs in the Keys

Without interrupting your career, you can earn a bachelor’s or doctorate degree in the Florida Keys through the Florida Center of the Union Institute based in Miami.

Credits earned at Florida Keys Community College or any other accredited educational institution may be applied toward completing a bachelor’s degree at the institute. Financial aid is available and the programs are tailored to meet individual needs.

Following the first semester’s required courses in the Keys, all teaching is done on a tutorial basis.

The doctorate program has some 1,200 candidates enrolled nationwide. More information on it can be obtained by calling the school office in Cincinnati at (800)486-3116.

During the last five years, an outreach program from the Miami Center has offered Keys residents a chance to obtain a bachelor’s degree. The most popular fields have been business administration, education, psychology and criminal justice.

For more information about the Institute, contact the center at (800)486-7141.

For Your Information

Sheriff’s Office purchases Life Insurance for Employees

By Cyrus Poitier, Human Resources Specialist

1. How much Life Insurance coverage do I have?

For active employees, the basic policy is $20,000.00 per employee up to the age of 70; $13,400.00 for ages 70-74; and $10,000.00 for ages 75 and over. For accidental deaths it is double the basic policy. The amount of life insurance for retired employees is different. If you have any questions you should contact the Employee Benefits Section.

2. Are my dependents covered with Life Insurance, or can I pay for this coverage separately?

No, Life Insurance is provided for the employee only and is not available for dependents.

3. How can I make beneficiary changes?

Beneficiary changes can and should be made any time they are needed. To make a change, a new Benefit Record Card must be completed and signed. These cards can be obtained from the from the Human Resources Section or the Employee Benefits Section.

4. Can I purchase additional insurances?

Yes, please contact the Human Resources Section for more information.

If you have any questions, please contact:

Employee Benefits
5100 College Road, Room 215
Public Service Building
Key West, Fl 33040
(305) 292-4446

Donna A. Moore
Personnel Administrator
Human Resources Division
5525 College Road
Key West, FL 33040
(305) 292-7029

Other Employee Benefits Offered

Tuition Reimbursement: Employees on a regular status may apply for reimbursement for courses/training taken that relate to their job, after they have been employed for six months. For an application or further information, contact the Training Division.

Discounts - Florida Attractions: Monroe County offers discounts for Walt Disney, Busch Gardens, Six Flags Atlantis, Silver Springs, Weeki Wachee, Wild Waters, and Buccaneer Bay. Also, some of the attractions discount cards give a discount on hotel/motels in that particular area. Contact Human Resources at (305) 292-7044, for information.

Credit Union: Monroe County is a member of the Southernmost Credit Union, located in the City Electric lot off Grinnell Street. The Credit Union offers a savings program with payroll deduction privileges, as well as a Christmas club account and a loan program. For more information call the Southernmost Credit Union at 296-6568.

Sick Leave Pool: The purpose of this program is to provide employees with an emergency pool of sick leave hours in cases of prolonged absence due to illness or disability. To be eligible, one must be a full time employee, employed for at least one year. Once enrolled, each member of the pool may be eligible to receive up to 240 hours from the pool for a documented illness. (See General Operations Manual 9:11 - 9:14

Direct Deposit: You may have the option to have your paycheck directly deposited to the financial institution of your choice. Partial deposits may be made to a maximum of three different accounts to any bank in the country.

Fitness Program: As part of the Sheriff's Office wellness program, each member has the opportunity to schedule an appointment with one of the certified fitness instructors to receive a fitness program designed specifically for them. The instructors are: Lt. Mitch Snider - Training Director, 292-7010 or 292-7011, Jim Painter - Data Processing Supervisor 292-7028.

Anti-Smoking Incentive Program: The Monroe County Sheriff's Office will assist employees who wish to quit smoking in the purchase of a medically-approved, anti-smoking medication. The office will reimburse the employee up to $150.00, this is a one time offer only. Once your receipts total $150.00, forward them along with a requisition to Human Resources to the attention of Michael J. Scott, Executive Director or Donna Moore, Personnel Administrator. This offer is good after six months of employment.

Weight Loss Program: The Monroe County Sheriff's Office will assist members in a doctors certified weight loss program. The office will reimburse the employee up to $150.00, this is a one time offer only. Once your receipts total $150.00, forward them along with a requisition to Human Resources to the attention of Michael J. Scott, Executive Director or Donna Moore, Personnel Administrator. This offer is good after six months of employment.

Banking: Payroll checks can be cashed at the First National Bank of the Florida Keys. Direct Deposit of your check is also available. Contact the Finance Division for more information.

Employee Assistance Program: You and your eligible dependents may use the twenty-four (24) hour confidential EAP to help you deal with personal and work related issues. Lower Keys, (305) 292-6843, Middle Keys, (305) 289-6150, Upper Keys, (305) 853-3285.

Domestic Partnership: Employees who are in committed relationships who qualify under the Domestic Partnership Resolution may apply for certain benefits which would otherwise only be available to married partners. For more information, contact the Employee Benefits Section at (305) 292-4446.

Family Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA): FMLA requires covered employers to provide up to twelve (12) calendar weeks of paid or unpaid, job-protected leave for eligible employees for the following reasons:

1. To care for the employee's child after birth, or placement for adoption or foster care.

2. To care for the employee's spouse, son, daughter, parent or domestic partner who has a serious health condition.

3. For a serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform the employee's job.

For additional information contact Executive Director, Michael J. Scott, or Personnel Administrator, Donna A. Moore, at (305) 292-7045.

Four ways to improve your productivity

By Cyrus Poitier, HR Specialist

Schedule Your Time

Be consistent. Don’t do personal things when you are scheduled to work. Make a “To Do” list and prioritize your tasks.

Do the most difficult job first.

You’ll be doing it when you have the most energy and motivation. If you tackle the toughest job first, the rest of your tasks will seem much easier.

Don’t allow yourself to get interrupted by others’ “emergencies

How many times have you had your tasks planned, and other people keep coming to you with their problems that only you can fix? Learn to say no in a polite but firm manner. For example, say “I would really like to assist you with that, but I also have a project which I must complete for my boss today. If you can schedule some time with me so that it is on my calendar, I would be more than happy to help you.”

Organize your workspace

The better organized your workspace, the more time efficient you will be. The time it takes you to search through all of your piles of papers could be spent working on the new projects you are being given.

NSA has Photo Contest

Calling all Shutter Bugs! The National Sheriff’s Association is holding its first annual Sheriff Magazine Photo Competition. All sworn Law Enforcement Officers and administrative staff are eligible to enter. You don’t need to be a professional photographer to win and entering is free. Winning photographs will be published in Sheriff magazine, and winners will receive valuable prize packages.

Enter your best pictures for the following four categories:

Last Full Measure of Devotion:

Memorialize America’s law enforcement professionals who have dedicated their lives to protect and serve. Photos may honor (living or deceased) family members, colleagues, or historical figures, or symbolically depict the law enforcement profession.

Our Grand Old Flag:

Create a patriotic tribute to this cherished symbol of America’s greatness.

Animals on Parade:

The human-animal bond is strong among law enforcement officers and their four-legged companions. Pay tribute to that faithful K-9 or tireless equestrian. Photos may be poignant, humorous or dramatic.

It’s a Small, Small World:

Show the world how sheriff’s and their deputies positively impact the lives of America’s children.

For prize information, and for contest rules, contact Janet K. Hawkins, Publications Director, National Sheriff’s Association, 800-424-7827, ext. 335 or e-mail her at jhawkins@sheriffs.org.

Hurry! The entry deadline is May 31, 2000.

Chicken Soup for the Soul

We Want Your Stories

Please allow me to take a minute of your time to introduce myself and my partner and explain an exciting opportunity. My name is Joe Woodall and my partner's name is Rick Canfield. We have recently been selected to coauthor Chicken Soup for the Lifesaving Soul, by Jack Canfield and Associates, Santa Barbara, California.

We represent 35 years of emergency services related experience. Rick's experience has been derived as a counselor/therapist with the St. Luke's Behavioral Health System. During his tenure he has worked with countless fire, law enforcement, hospital and pre-hospital care givers, helping them in a counselor/therapist capacity. The majority of my experience in emergency services has been derived during my current tenure as a professional firefighter/EMT.

We view our Chicken Soup book as an opportunity to acknowledge and honor those who go the extra mile in an effort to serve their fellow humans.

The short stories that we are hoping to receive will serve to uplift the souls and rekindle the spirits of the firefighters, police officers, nurses, doctors, paramedics, emergency medical technologists, military personnel, organ donors and all others who serve so courageously and give so much at the intersection of life and death.

Further, through honoring those who serve and have served, we will be able to share their stories and experiences with those who have been the recipients of their valor, as well as those who simply appreciate the efforts and dedication of these brave men and women.

Chapter titles include: How What You Do Has Changed You, Lifesaving Miracles, Acts of Kindness, Acts of Love, Lifesaving Pets, Acts of Heroism, Living a Dream, Overcoming Obstacles, Thank You Stories, Going Above and Beyond the Call of Duty.

We view you and your organization as excellent vehicles for the recruitment of these stories. Please assist us in getting the word out. If possible, we would appreciate an opportunity to write a short piece for any publication that reaches others in your organization. It would also be very helpful if you could pass the word along to the members of your organization, requesting that they submit their personal stories, experiences and perspectives.

Please share in this opportunity to give back to those who so bravely give. We can be contacted by phone, mail, or e-mail at your earliest convenience. Thank you for your valuable time.

Sincerely, Chicken Soup for the Lifesaving Soul

Joe Woodall
P.O. Box 45419
Phoenix, AZ 85064-5419
(602) 589-2053 Office
(602) 589-2054 Fax
(602) 270-6088 Voice Mail/Pager

Art Behind Bars

Art Behind Bars, the art-based community service program for female inmates in the Monroe County Detention Center, is pleased to announce that this is the sixth year in a row that students in the program have made Valentines for Veterans in South Florida VA Hospital in Miami. This brings the total number of hand-made valentines to more than 500 in 6 years. Furthermore, a mixed-media painting was also completed for the Veterans. Officer Cathy Burch contributed a beautiful large banner to accompany the artwork. In addition, a hand-painted baby quilt was donated to Wesley House for their Valentine’s Day fundraiser.

For more information about the Art Behind Bars program, visit their web site at www.artbehindbars.org.

Diet Tips

Diets that work don’t require you to follow drastic eating regimens or feel guilty if you sneak a brownie.

The real secrets: Portion control...moderation…..and variety. Use these secrets to trim calories.

Make small changes over time: Eating habits are the hardest ones to change. But small, gradual changes are fairly easy. Examples: If you drink 2% milk (121 calories in eight ounces) switch to 1% (102 calories) and then to skim (86 calories) over several months. Use reduced fat sour cream and cottage cheese.

Don’t avoid treats completely: Quite simply, sugar tastes good. And it doesn’t make you fat unless you eat a great deal of it. So—use sugar to your advantage. Example: If you want chocolate, eat it at the end of a meal, when you are less likely to overindulge.

Eat “high-water” foods: Fruits, vegetables, nonfat milk and broth based soups contain a lot of water—so you get a lot of volume and few calories.

Choose proteins carefully: A 2.9 ounce serving of lean sirloin steak is comparable in calories to a 4.8 ounce serving of fish or 3.9 ounces of turkey breast. The larger portions of fish and turkey are more satisfying. Beans, low-fat milk and yogurt are also low-calorie, high-volume ways to eat protein.

Protect your identity

Social Security numbers are commonly used in computer record keeping. Your SSN gives a thief access to your entire identity—and all information that is associated with it financially.

Self-defense: Only disclose your Social Security Number to private companies when there are tax consequences, such as opening an interest-bearing account at a bank. Most insurance companies will back off if you refuse to give your SSN. As a fallback position, offer to provide the last four digits.

Review your Social Security statement, which the government now automatically mails annually to every worker over age 25 (about three months before his/her birthday). If needed sooner: www.ssa.gov.

Never put your Social Security Number on your checks...If a private business asks for your SSN on an application, simply leave the space blank or write “refused”. Most companies will not question this—or will back off when you ask to see a written policy requiring your SSN.

Did you know….

Antibiotics offset birth control pills? Some antibiotics interfere with women’s hormone levels—making birth control pills less effective. Self-defense: A couple should use a condom during, and for one week after, antibiotic use.

What’s Happening

Good bye, Bart! Bart Badia, the dedicated Supply Officer for the Sheriff’s Office, is saying goodbye. He’ll be joining HIDTA in Miami. We’ll miss you, Bart!
The Bureau of Corrections recently said goodbye to the Director of Records, James Aguiar. He moved to the Ocala area with his family. Good luck, Rocky!

Toll Free Numbers

Our toll free phone number is going statewide. We have a toll free number here at the headquarters' building, and over the past few weeks my office (Tamara Snider) has been working on changing over the number to the State of Florida Suncom System.

With this change, each call will only cost 6.8 per minutes and will now be available for calls throughout the State of Florida.

If you are traveling on Sheriff’s Office business and need to call someone at the headquarters' building, it will save money if you use this 800 number. It will ring at the switchboard, and you can be transferred from there to any office in the building.

The number is 1-800-273-COPS (2677).

Special Olympics Torch Run

It’s that time again! The Special Olympics Torch Run is coming up on April 14th. T-shirts are currently available from Records Supervisor Pat Silvers for $12.00. You may also pick up your application to participate in the Torch Run while you are there getting your shirt. If you actually show up to participate in the run (even if you walk, roller blade or ride in the Trolley) you will get a bonus tank top for NO EXTRA CHARGE! See Pat for details, or call her at 292-7050.

This year-shirt design

For Sale:

Chihuahuas for sale: Detention Deputy Lenny Alonzo has full blooded Chihuahuas for sale, $250.00 per dog (no papers). Three males are available. Contact Lenny at the Detention Center, 293-7300.

Transportation Supervisor Anthony Campana recently had the opportunity to meet and have his picture taken with a man he calls “the greatest hockey player who ever lived”. Shaking Campana’s hand in the photo is Bobby Orr who plays defense for the Boston Bruins.


Police Memorial Fountain

The Sheriff’s Office has a new Police Memorial at the Headquarters Building on Stock Island. A beautiful fountain is surrounded by marble monuments to those officers slain in Monroe County and in the City of Key West, with a marble bench in front for those who wish to sit and contemplate the sacrifice of the memorialized officers. This year’s Police Memorial Ceremony in the Lower Keys will be held at the new Memorial Fountain May 19th at 7 p.m.

Poetry Corner

Is Heaven in the Yellow Pages?

Dedicated to those dispatchers who give of themselves, 24 hours a day.

Mommy went to Heaven, but I need her here today,
My tummy hurts and I fell down, I need her right away.
911, can you tell me how to find her in the phone book?
Is Heaven in the yellow part, I don't know where to look.
I think my daddy needs her too, at night I hear him cry.
I hear him call her name sometimes, but I really don't know why.
Maybe if I call her, she will hurry home to me.
Is Heaven very far away, is it across the sea?
She's been gone a long, long time she needs to come home now!
I really need to reach her, but I simply don't know how.
Help me find the number please, is it listed under "Heaven"?
I can't read all these big words, I am only seven.
I'm sorry 911, I didn't mean to make you cry.
Is your tummy hurting too, or is there something in your eye?
I am calling the Police cuz maybe they will know.
Mommy said when we need help that's where we should go.
Thank you for telling me that it will be okay
Mommy said if the police tell you something you can believe it right away.
Goodnight 911... when I reach her, I'll tell my mommy too
That tonight I talked to someone as nice as you.

Crime Stoppers

How Crime Stoppers can help you and how you can help Crime Stoppers

Deputies and Detectives can help Crime Stoppers and at the same time get more criminal information to help solve and close cases. Law enforcement officers know that in most cases the best intelligence comes from people not from physical evidence. Someone always seems to know something about a crime committed by someone else. Crime Stoppers can provide an avenue to get information from people who don’t want to get involved and don’t want to get their names on a report by talking to the cops. Crime Stoppers can do this by providing anonymity and reward money. Someone who knows about a crime can report what they know while remaining anonymous and collecting a reward of up to one thousand dollars. Crime Stoppers is working in the Keys. Crime Stopper tips have help law enforcement make over 120 arrests and seize drugs, cash and property valued at over 120 thousand dollars. However, the program has the potential to help us solve dozens of more crimes in the Keys. The problem is that unless people know about Crime Stoppers and how to utilize it, the program will not be as successful as it can be. One way Deputies and Detectives can help is to hand out Crime Stopper cards (they are available at the substations) at every scene where you need more information…and even at scenes when you don’t. The point is to get the word out about Crime Stoppers. For example, a tipster called in after finding one of the Crime Stopper cards. The result was the bust of a sophisticated hydroponics lab growing marijuana in the Upper Keys. The caller was obviously very close to the criminal enterprise and obviously wanted to stay anonymous. After the arrest and seizure of over thirteen thousand dollars worth of pot, the tipster used a special code number to pick up the substantial reward at a Keys bank.

So, help Crime Stoppers and help yourselves. Pass out those Crime Stopper cards at every opportunity. If you can’t find any at the substations, give Community Relations a call at 292-7116 and we’ll send you a batch.

Also, if a citizen approaches you and states that they want to provide information and possibly get a Crime Stoppers reward-that’s okay. Tipsters don’t have to be anonymous. Handling this situation is simple: Just get the information and instruct the tipster to call Crime Stoppers. Tell the tipster to report the same criminal information to the operator who will give them a code number. Also, tell the tipster to give your name as a reference so we can corroborate the information. If an arrest results, the tipster will get a reward but all the secrecy isn’t necessary.

If you have any questions about how Crime Stoppers works, please call Community Relations Director Greg Artman at 292-7116.

Accreditation Display Shows Off Equipment, Officers



Two new All Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) will be used to patrol Higgs Beach in Key West and Sombrero Beach in Marathon. The new Trauma Helicopter will be used to transport the severely injured from accident scenes and area hospitals. Sgt. Vaughn Sommers shows off new striping on his patrol vehicle.


Det. Sgt. Bobby Randolph, seasoned Bomb Squad member and new-comer to the Bomb Squad, Det. Scott Robinson. K-9 Team Deputy Todd Tetterton and his Dog Torro show their stuff for the Accreditation Inspectors. A new Corrections Transportation Bus will reliably transport inmates both up and down the Keys, and to other locations. Pictured is Supervisor of Transportation Anthony Campana and Officer Peco Broussard.