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

August 2003 Edition

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Table of Contents

 Sheriff’s Report

Colonel Bill McDonald, who will be retiring from the Sheriff's Office
at the end of the year, is already practicing his retirement technique....he
enjoys riding horses at his home in  Pasco County, where he plans to live when
he leaves the Sheriff's Office.

Administrative Changes

Due to the impending retirement of Colonel Bill McDonald there have been some administrative changes and appointments made recently.

I'm pleased to announce that Rick Ramsay, formerly Captain of the Sector One Freeman Substation, has been promoted to Lieutenant Colonel and will replace Colonel McDonald when he leaves at the end of the year. Taking his place as the Captain in Sector One is Chad Scibilia, who was the Lieutenant of the Special Investigations Division.

Colonel Bill McDonald Lt. Colonel Rick Ramsay

Colonel McDonald leaves us after 21 years with the Sheriff’s Office. Hired by Sheriff William “Billy” Freeman in 1982 as a deputy, Colonel McDonald was promoted to sergeant in January of 1985 and detective sergeant in November of the same year. He became the Lieutenant at the Marathon Substation in 1986, and a Captain at Marathon in 1989. He was appointed to the position of Colonel in January of 1990.

Taking his place in January, and temporarily holding the rank of Lieutenant Colonel until then, is Rick Ramsay. Lt. Colonel Ramsay was hired in 1987 as a deputy. He became a sergeant in 1991, then a detective sergeant in 1998. He was promoted to lieutenant in January of 2000, then Captain of Operations in the Bureau of Corrections in 2001. He held that position for a year before transferring to Captain of the Cudjoe Substation in January of 2002.

Taking over as Captain of the Cudjoe Substation is Chad Scibilia, who is transferring from a position of Lieutenant of the Special Investigations Division. Captain Scibilia was hired as a Corrections Officer in November of 1985. He transferred to road patrol as a deputy in 1987, becoming a sergeant in 1989. In 1999, he was promoted to Lieutenant at the Marathon Substation. He transferred to the Special Investigations Division as Lieutenant in February of 2001.

“I’m sorry to see Bill leave the agency but I know he’s looking forward to his retirement,” said Sheriff Rick Roth. “He’s been with the Sheriff’s Office for a long time and has been with me as my second in command since I became Sheriff. I’m looking forward to working with Lt. Colonel Rick Ramsay. He’s young, dynamic and will be a tremendous asset to the agency as Colonel.”

Budget Hearings coming in September

The County Commission will be holding three budget hearings in September. These hearings are important to everyone and you should all pay close attention and even attend if possible.

During these budget hearings the Commission will be discussing two subjects which may directly affect your life and your pocketbook. One is the amount of our upcoming pay raise, the other is health benefits for employees. A 2.4% raise has been proposed for all county and Sheriff's Office employees. It is possible that this amount could be reduced if the County Commission decides to use some of the money earmarked for the raise to keep the cost of health insurance benefits lower. These issues, and other issues important to the budget process will be decided at the three hearings:

  • September 3rd, Harvey Government Center, 5 p.m.

  • September 10th, Key Largo Library, 5 p.m.

  • September 17th, Marathon Government Center, 5 p.m.

If you do attend any of these meetings, please do not wear your uniform, unless you are going to the meeting immediately following your work shift.

Ask the Administration

There haven't been many questions submitted recently. For the new employees, if you have any questions for the Administration, submit them to Deputy Becky Herrin either by email at, or in the courier. I'll do my best to get an answer for you. If you wish to remain anonymous, just let me know. The only restrictions on the questions for this area of the Rap Sheet is that we will not answer questions that are sarcastic, or that directly criticize or malign a particular person.

Question 1: A couple of questions have arisen concerning off-duty use of vehicles and travel time. First concerning travel time, several years ago MCSO elected to invoke a “home rule” policy which stated basically, that as an employee of MCSO your work assignment could be anywhere in Monroe County. Thus employees, regardless of where they live within Monroe County, are not entitled to per diem or travel time for traveling to work, training, special assignments, etc. However, members who travel out county (Over 50 miles) are entitled to travel time and per diem. The question is this, now that we allow employees to live out of county if these employees must travel more than 50 miles from their home back into Monroe County for an assignment such as training in Marathon or Key West, or court, are they entitled to travel time and per diem?

Secondly since we allow employees living out of county to take their vehicles home and these employees are allowed to utilize their vehicle off-duty for personal business out of county (i.e. within Miami-Dade County), why are employees who live in North Key Largo for example, prohibited from utilizing their vehicle to go to say Homestead on personal business?

In addition with the new radio system those living out of county cannot check on the air with dispatch (as policy states), as they have no radio communications with anyone outside Monroe County.


Answered by Sheriff Roth: A Sheriff's Office employee is entitled to per diem and travel time if the employee travels, on an employment related trip, more than 50 miles from his or her assigned duty station. Thus, if an employee has to travel more than 50 miles from his/her duty station to attend training or court, they are entitled to per diem and travel time. Whether or not they live in the county has no bearing on this rule.

I'm glad you asked the second part of this question, because we have never considered this particular issue.  From this point forward, our policy regarding the personal use of duty cars is this: If an employee lives outside of Monroe County, he or she cannot use a duty car for personal business, unless it is an incidental errand performed on the way home from work. If an employee living in Monroe County wishes to use their issued vehicle to travel out of the county on business or for personal reasons, he or she must first obtain permission to do so from his or her Sector Commander.

As to the comment about radios, because our dispatchers cannot be reached from most places outside of Monroe County, employees who live outside the county must check in (or out) on their radios when entering or exiting the county.

'Question 2: I work night shift in the jail where it gets extremely cold. The thin regular black jackets that are issued to all the staff does not keep us warm. Sometimes I have to wear an extra jacket just to keep warm. My question is: Supply has some of the old/new style used thick jackets (the ones that are issued to road deputies). The jackets are just sitting there collecting dust. Why can't those jackets be issued to detention deputies?

Answered by Sheriff Roth: Public Works says they maintain a temperature of between 72 and 74 degrees and a humidity level of 55 percent, a comfort zone sufficient for most people. They have assured me they will be monitoring these levels in various areas of the facility to make sure they are maintained as much as possible throughout.

As to the issue of warmer apparel: I have been told that if you approach Major Tommy Taylor, he does have a few jackets available, but there are not enough of the heavy jackets usually issued to road patrol to supply all corrections officers with them. Purchasing more is simply not feasible because the jackets in question cost the Sheriff's Office $140.00 apiece.

We have done a number of things to try to keep our employees comfortable in the past, including issuing windbreakers and turtleneck shirts. These turtlenecks are no longer being issued, however, because we are currently looking at the issue of new uniforms for jail personnel. We are waiting to make a decision about new uniforms until jail employees determine which union they will be represented by. Once that is decided, then uniforms and jackets will be made a part of the contract we will negotiate with that union.

Bureau of Operations

Sheriff's Office participates in National Night Out

Sector 7 held their own National Night Out Event this year in Key Largo. Turn out was terrific, with an estimated 300 people showing up to visit with each other, get to know their local deputies, and learn about Citizen's Crime Watch and about Crime Prevention. Since the event, Captain Jennifer Bell-Thomson has had two inquiries about starting new Crime Watches in the upper Keys.

Community Relations Director Greg Artman talks to
citizens about Crime Watch at the Key Largo National Night Out.
Upper Keys residents look over Crime Prevention information at National Night Out in Key Largo.
Upper Keys officers enjoying National Night out in Key

 Largo August 5th.

Crime Watch groups in the area brought food for the event, and Winn Dixie and Publix both donated food, drinks and condiments. The Key Largo and Tavernier fire departments helped kids cool off at the event with their fire hoses. The Rock Island Band played terrific music, and there were games - an egg toss and a three legged race - for kids as well.

Captain Jenny Bell-Thomson stuck
around afterward to help clean up.

The Sheriff's Office gave away T-shirts, balloons, punching balls and lots of crime prevention information. Captain Bell-Thomson wants to extend her sincere thanks to everyone who worked hard to make the event a success.

Sector 1 deputies participated in a National Night Out Event held in their area as well. The event was sponsored by the Navy, and held at the Sigsbee Navy Base in Key West. About 200 people attended. Deputies at the event  handed out coloring books and other goodies to children.

Lower Keys deputies also participated in National Night Out.
Left to right, SRO Dep. Tom Peteck, Dep. Mark Long,
Dep. Natalie Mashburn and Dep. Matt Dowling.

Report from Marathon and Sector 5

By Lt. Larry Kelley

Wow, lots has happened since the last issue so let me get to the comings and goings. Welcome to our newest recruits, Alice Cervantes, Lester Greenwood and Gregg Johnson. Alice has already succeeded in the FTO program and Lester and Gregg are well on their way to the same distinction. Congratulations Alice and keep up the effort guys, and you too will soon be on your own, crushing crime and influencing citizens. Whatever we can do to assist you in your success, just ask.

Congratulations to Linda Kohout in receiving her 10-year award from the Sheriff. That’s a lot of service, let’s have another ten with the same zeal that you have been displaying. Keep up the good community partnerships.

We have to give special credit to Sergeants Sam Cassel, Susan Greenwood and Mike Langston for their successful completion of the Southern Police Institute’s Command Officer Development Course (SPI). That is no small task and you bring credit on all of us with your efforts. It is not often that all the candidates accepted to the program are from the same station. Well, even though Mike works for SID, we still feel he is one of us here in Marathon.

Another Lobster Mini-season has come and gone. This one seemed to have been a little calmer than the last few. I am sure it was, in no little way, because of our special efforts here in Marathon. Sergeant Suzanne Morgan headed up a TRAP program of sting operations for three nights that netted no “in progress” vessel burglaries. That is not a big deal in and of itself, but in the same period of time there were no reported vessel burglaries in Marathon and that is certainly an accomplishment, especially for that period of time. SID and the Marathon Detectives supported the effort and the “bait” (boat, dive gear and fishing equipment) was donated. Great job, all.

Additionally during the week, Deputies Willie Guerra, Derrick Paul and Harry Boyden worked “lobster duty” and between them made 13 arrests (NTA’s) and countless boat inspections and cooler checks. That is what they were there for and they stepped up to the game. Keep up the good work.

Reserve Sergeant Dave Campbell finally has some enforcement partners to help him with his mission to rid the city of inconsiderate drivers who park in disabled spaces. Reserve Deputies Ken Groat and Lynn Faircloth are out there finding the scofflaws and tagging the cars. I commend their commitment and want them to know that I have received countless thanks from community members and the Monroe County Council for Persons with Disabilities for their efforts. If you did not know it, all of the time involved by these exemplary deputies is volunteered, including any court time they may incur. That is what I call true commitment.

“Super Dave” not only has continued this volunteer parking enforcement effort but last week, while covering the absence of our school crossing guard who came up ill for a few days, he observed a felony car burglary in progress and took proper action to observe, track and assist in the arrest of the thief. Dave, you just keep the hits coming, don’t you?

One final note of thanks before I go. I want to personally thank all of those who volunteered to help Captain Peryam and I run the Hospitality Suite at the recent FBI National Academy Re-training Conference in Key West. Carolyn McKenzie, Kimm Johnson, Tony Campana and Steve Barney were outstanding in their donation of personal time to make the gig go well. They were indeed the reason why we were so successful. Thank you all for all your time and effort.

There are a lot of dangers out there in these times. Let's all keep our eyes on our job and our minds and hearts with our co-workers in these times of national focus. We need to be doing it better then before and we need to remember that we are a team and teamwork succeeds.

I guess that is all for now so I will close this out.

AND REMEMBER……. “You may know where you are and God may know where you are, but if your dispatcher does not know where you are, I hope you and God are on good terms!”

Sector One News

By Lieutenant Colonel Rick Ramsay
(But he was still a Captain when he wrote this....)

They say all good things must come to an end and we will soon see an end to Russ Stamets career with the Sheriff's Office.  Russ has been with this agency for some twenty years and will be retiring come Sept. 21st of this year.  Russ has been a great friend and co-worker to say the least.  Russ will be missed very much, but we all wish him well in his new life.  Russ has bought a home in Georgia and will be moving right after his retirement.  Russ - thanks for everything from all your friends at the Cudjoe Substation.

We also will be saying goodbye to Joe Cortner, who is moving back to Oceola County where he came from.  Joe was only in sector one for a short time, but will be missed and we wish him all the best.
I would like to congratulate Sergeant Daryl Hull for receiving the officer of the quarter award for the second quarter of this year.  Sgt. Hull is an outstanding officer and a key member of this sector.  This award is long overdue, but well deserved.  Daryl thank you for all that you do to make this a better place.

Islamorada Sector 6

By Lt. Thomas Brazil

During the month of July we have two major events for the Village. The 4th of July is always a busy weekend for us with the influx of visitors. The “Sand Bar” was packed as usual, but no major incidents occurred. The later half of the month was dominated by the annual lobster sport season, which took place on July 30 & 31. Islamorada implemented a new ordinance this year which prohibited diving within 300 feet of shore and in man made canals and boat basins. This seamed to alleviate a lot of the problems we have experienced in the past with diving along the shoreline. Deputy Sanchez apprehended a subject diving in Venetian Shores. Upon seeing the patrol boat the suspect dropped his dive bag full of shorts and Nelson, having watched too many Aqua Man cartoons, dropped his gun belt, donned his mask and fins and went “in deep” after the evidence. The suspect was charged with possessing short lobster and obstruction. Way to go Nelson above and beyond.

Deputy Joe Moran and Sergeant Tim Hurd recently had an interesting experience with a stolen car. Two kids from the Children’s Shelter stole a car at mm88 and upon officers spotting them took off in a short vehicle chase. The officers discontinued the pursuit and followed the car south bound to the Long Key Bridge. The stolen vehicle was apparently disabled due to engine problems and when the car gave out coming to a stop on the bridge, the driver did his impersonation of Jacques Cousteau jumping over the bridge railing in total darkness into the water. Night Star and the Coast Guard responded to assist and fortunately the kid was found clinging to a bridge piling unhurt. Truly God does protect drunks and fools. I would like to offer special thanks to Sector 4/5 for their assistance, true teamwork guys & gals.

Sergeant Williams has worked hard get the bicycle patrol up and running. We now have two outfitted patrol bicycles purchased with community donations. We would like to thank Kenny McKenny of Theater of the Sea for his generous donation as well as all others in the community who contributed to make this program a reality.

We would like to welcome Deputy Alvin Burns and Deputy Ann Latham to the Islamorada Sector. Deputy Burns comes to us from South Alabama, Gods country. He has many years of law enforcement experience and even did a stint in Kosovo with the UN-IPTF. He is certified as an instructor in everything, which should prove to be a great asset in doing some localized training. Deputy Latham has been around the agency for several years as an Auxiliary Deputy, but recently graduated the BLE academy in Key West. She is retired from the US Coast Guard after 20 years and brings with her a wealth of knowledge and world experience. Welcome Aboard! Also in June Bernie LaPira took over the reins as the new village manager in Islamorada from Charles Baldwin. I would like to offer a good luck to both.

Reserve Report

By Reserve Captain Ted Migala

On April 12, 2003, 11 members of the Monroe County Reserve Squad completed the 16-hour FDLE approved coarse, to obtained the status, of Parking Enforcement Specialist.  Training included: verbal skills, reviewing Florida Statutes and Monroe County Codes, reference parking enforcement, and court room testimony. 

Parking Enforcement Specialist after an additional 4 hours of On The Job training will be applying their responsibility through out Monroe County.  They will be enforcing handicap and fire lane violations, along with other roadway parking violations.

 The purpose of Parking Enforcement is to provide a safe non-obstructed flow for traffic and allowing those in need, to have access to designated parking.

The Reserve members completing the training are: David Bickford, John Marlowe, Ken Groat, Jose Lopez, Ralph Williams, Lynn Faircloth, Jennifer Hodges, Michelle Wisniewski,  Sally-Ann Crawford, John Parken, Carol Johnson. Lead Instructor R/Sgt. David Campbell. Instructors: Lt. Larry Kelley, Sgt. Rod Erwin, R/Capt. Ted Migala.

Community Relations

School Report

By Sgt. John Barber 

I would like to take this opportunity to welcome Deputy William Schlegelmilch to the School Resource Unit. Will comes to us from Road Patrol Sector 7. Will is assigned to Key Largo School and is already hard at work. He recently completed the first ever two week long combined SRO, Elementary DARE and Middle School DARE Training. These three courses have always been offered separately. Combining them is saving law enforcement agencies both time and money. Congrats to Will for completing the course.

School is back in full swing and there have been some changes. As most of you probably know we now have a new superintendent of schools, John Padget. We also have 3 new principals; Barbara Wright at Marathon High School, Leslie Messier at Switlik School and Bruce King at Coral Shores High School. I look forward to working with all of them this school year. 

School Crossing Guards have found a new home in the Community Relations Division. We would like to welcome them all to our division. If any of you need anything, make sure you call us. Since your function is as new to us as we are to you, we need to communicate with each other to make sure we all get to know each other. We would like to welcome Blanca Rodriguez to the Crossing Guard ranks. Blanca is the new Crossing Guard at Islamorada. We also welcome back Deputy Vincent Catala to the Sheriff’s Office. Vince has been hired by the Sheriff to supervise the guards working at schools in the city of Key West, as well as filling a guard position himself. Vince has been doing a fantastic job training, supervising and administrating this diverse group. The guards up the Keys will be supervised by none other than yours truly. I am excited about the opportunity to work with each of the 4 guards up the Keys.

Teen Court

By Karol Cotton

The Teen Court end of the year banquet was held on May 28th at the Holiday Inn Beachside. Adult volunteers joined the teen volunteers and their parents as Sheriff Roth and Mrs. Cotton, Teen Court coordinator, recognized their service over the past year. Certificates went to each volunteer with recognition for the number of hours volunteered during the year. Special merit awards and $100 savings bonds went to Brian Baffer and J.W. Parks for 49.5 hours of service each. Symara Jefferson (60.5 hours) and Brandon Wagoner (65 hours) each received certificates and a $200 savings bond for attending over 80% of the Teen Court sessions. Brandon Wagoner received a $100 Savings Bond as the Teen Court Volunteer of the Year award for the most hours served. A total of 448 hours were donated by the teens from June of '02 to May of '03. Plaques of appreciation were also given to the adult attorneys who volunteered their time and expertise as judges for the Teen Court program over the past year.

Sheriff Roth, Symara Jefferson, Brandon Wagoner, Karol Cotton Front Row: Jenna Moeller, J.W. Waite, Eveling Darce, Symara Jefferson, Brandon Wagoner, Sele Gordon. Back Row: Jamie Marrs, Karol Cotton, Brian Baffer, Wade Acevedo, Elaina Santana, Tyler Kosis

General News

Monroe County Sheriff's Office Re-accredited for three years

At a joint meeting this week in Daytona of the Commission for Florida Law Enforcement Accreditation and the Florida Corrections Accreditation Commission, the Monroe County Sheriff's Office received state re-accreditation of it's law enforcement functions for the next three years. The Sheriff's Office Detention Centers are also state accredited, and the entire agency is nationally accredited through the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA).
An accreditation program has long been recognized as a means of maintaining the highest standards of professionalism in any professional organization. Accreditation is the certification by an independent reviewing authority that an entity has met specific requirements and prescribed standards. Schools, universities, and hospitals are some of the most well known organizations that are required to maintain accreditation. Law enforcement agencies in Florida can now also attain accredited status through the Commission for Florida Law Enforcement Accreditation.
In 1993, Florida Statute 943.125 directed that the Florida Sheriffs Association and the Florida Police Chiefs Association create a voluntary law enforcement accreditation program. Representatives from these Associations developed a process for accreditation which required compliance with more than 250 professional standards designed specifically for Florida law enforcement agencies. The Commission for Florida Law Enforcement Accreditation was formed, comprised of four sheriffs, four chiefs, and one representative each from the Association of Counties, the League of Cities, and the Judiciary. The Commission meets quarterly to oversee the accreditation program and to officially accredit agencies that have passed the rigorous review process.
The Monroe County Sheriff's Office also holds national accreditation through the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies. CALEA was created in 1979 through the combined efforts of four major law enforcement organizations: the International Association of Chiefs of Police, National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, National Sheriffs' Association, and Police Executive Research Forum. These organizations continue to serve in an advisory capacity to the Commission and are responsible for appointing members of the Commission. CALEA was formed for two reasons: to develop a set of law enforcement standards; and to establish and administer an accreditation process through which law enforcement agencies could demonstrate voluntarily that they meet professionally-recognized criteria for excellence in management and service delivery.
For more information about each of the accreditation programs, visit their web sites at:

Fundraising Effort for Military Families

Major Tommy Taylor, Commander of the Corrections Division of the Monroe County Sheriff's Office is spearheading a fundraising effort to help the Florida families of those slain in the war in Iraq. Employees of the Monroe County Sheriff's Office will be allowed to donate one day of their vacation time to this effort between now and September 21st of this year. The vacation time will be converted to a cash donation to the American Red Cross. The Red Cross, in turn, will divide the money equally between those Florida families who lost a loved one in the conflict.

Major Taylor is hoping the idea will catch on and that other businesses and government agencies will pick up the ball and run with it. He is more than willing to talk to anyone who wants to interview him about this effort, and he can provide the appropriate contact at the Red Cross for an interview as well. Anyone interested in talking with Major Taylor can call him at (305)293-7325.

DNA extractable from fingerprints

By Charles Choi, United Press International Science News

NEW YORK, July 31 (UPI) -- Even if the only evidence forensic analysts can pull from a crime scene is a fingerprint smudged beyond recognition, a new technique developed by Canadian scientists soon could harvest enough DNA from the print to produce a genetic identity.

The novel system can extract DNA in only 15 minutes, even if a print has been stored for a year. Scientists expect the invention to help crime-fighters solve mysteries, and already are in talks with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. In addition, researchers predict the technology could be at least twice as cheap as existing DNA collection methods.

 "If you wanted to use blood as a source of DNA, you have fear of contamination, people who don't want to give it, storage issues, and you have to sign a lot of paperwork to get it," research scientist Maria Viaznikova of the Ottawa University Heart Institute in Canada told United Press International. "We can now have DNA reliably and simply with our method."

Viaznikova said her team's method consistently yields 10 billionths of a gram of DNA, on average, from a single fingerprint. The findings were revealed at the American Society for Microbiology's nanotechnology conference in New York earlier this month. Although 10 "nanograms" might not sound like much, for DNA analysis, even 0.1 nanogram is enough, Viaznikova said. "Scientists try not to use less than 5 to 10 nanograms, so this is fine."

She said forensic scientists have known for about five years that fingerprints contain DNA. However, commonly used extraction techniques need several hours or even days of lab work. "We can do it in 15 minutes," she added. The new extraction technique is under patent.

When compared with existing methods, "it is at least as twice less expensive, maybe more," Viaznikova said. The most immediate application such a technique could find is with forensics, said molecular biologist Margaret Wallace of John Jay College in New York and one-time DNA analyst for the city's chief medical examiner's office. "It could save a lot of time, particularly given we have this huge backlog on DNA that needs to be analyzed," Wallace told UPI. "There are hundreds of thousands of samples that need to be looked at now."

 Wallace still wants to know how well the process works on fingerprints gleaned from a variety of surfaces and kept in a variety of temperature and humidity conditions. "It's also possible that some people leave more DNA in their prints than others," she said. Because the method is so simple and cheap, with far less overhead required than needle-based DNA sampling, experts say this could help make DNA gathering a commonplace activity -- thereby also raising privacy issues.

"DNA is unique, extremely revealing about you and your family members," privacy specialist Jay Stanley of the American Civil Liberties Union in Washington, D.C., told UPI. "This advance really highlights the need for laws to protect the privacy in the face of these kinds of technologies." Stanley said because genetics experts have told him it inevitably will become easier to test DNA, "we need legal frameworks to figure out how to protect privacy in the face of this."

For example, silicone chips from biophysicist Stephen Quake's lab at the California Institute of Technology, in Pasadena, could in the next 10 years sequence an entire person's genetic code cheaply and in a few days, he noted. "I don't think anybody objects to samples from crime scenes. I think using DNA to catch murderers is a fine thing," Stanley said. "But we need to be cognizant of greater implications. We're going to be facing issues about how to keep DNA private from lawyers, governments, insurance companies, even nosy neighbors. It raises issues of employment discrimination, because employers have a natural incentive to hire healthy workers, and always have an incentive to discriminate against you by DNA, as long as health insurance is provided by the workplace." He added: "Or think about schoolchildren checking out each other's genetic profiles, or having profiles posted on the Internet. The fact is, there are heavy incentives to collect this information."

Electronic Frontier Foundation staff technologist Dan Moniz said he thinks the technique could be helpful to nab crooks, but he wonders about further implications in law. "People already have fingerprints taken of them. Will it just become part of the standard booking procedure? Will you be notified that they're taking DNA? Can you refuse to give fingerprints if you don't want DNA taken?" he asked. Moniz told UPI there are four directions he would like to see the question of DNA collection from prints go. "First, I want to know who's using this technology. I want to be notified right up front, at the police department, hospital, HMO, anything. No surreptitious extraction," he said. "I should have a right of refusal and I should receive no special treatment if I do refuse it," he continued. "Finally, I should have a clear statement of who has full control of it, to make sure it does not get (contracted) out."

Moniz said the problems of outsourcing the collection of genetic information is a violation of privacy that goes beyond the potential for discrimination. "Will you get marketed on a genetic level? To be somewhat facetious, is this a new piece of the puzzle of the already omni-present spam about penile enhancement?"

 Although the method "can be used for DNA identification for sure," Viaznikova said -- people have stretches of inactive "junk DNA" whose patterns are as unique to them as their fingerprints -- she added that her group also has a more ambitious goal for their method: extracting enough undamaged DNA from fingerprints to study the active DNA that actually drive survival. "Our interest is in the heart. If a patient goes to a doctor, in future perhaps the doctor can identify if a person has some kind of gene that can one day lead to heart failure," Viaznikova said. "We think we can use our technique for DNA profiling. It's not proved yet, but we're going to try and do it."

Indoor Workplace Smoking Ban Begins: Deputies' Role Clarified

Editor's Note: The Broward Sheriff's Office Newsletter, Signal 14, does an excellent job of explaining this new law and what it means for deputy sheriffs. I have borrowed this article from them.

Beginning July 1, 2003, under newly enacted Florida Statutes §386.201 et seq., commonly known as Florida’s Enclosed Indoor Workplace Smoking Ban, a person may not smoke in an enclosed indoor workplace, except as otherwise provided in Florida Statute §386.204. Under Florida Statute §386.207, it is the responsibility of the Division of Hotels and Restaurants or the Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco of the Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR), to enforce this law. Law enforcement agencies do not have enforcement powers under this act.

Upon notification of observed violations, the DBPR will investigate the complaint, and if necessary, will take enforcement action against the business or workplace. This law is designed to regulate businesses for unlawfully allowing smoking, and does not subject the smoker themselves to any criminal penalties.

Nevertheless, a situation may arise where an operator or designee of a public lodging establishment or public restaurant asks a customer to stop smoking, and they refuse. Under Florida Statute §509.141, the operator or designee of such establishments may remove or cause to be removed any guest of the establishment who, while on the premises of the establishment, “indulges in any language or conduct which disturbs the peace and comfort of other guests.” Any guest who remains or attempts to remain in any such establishment after being requested to leave is guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree. See Florida Statute
§509.141 (3).

Consequently, if deputies are called to the scene of a restaurant or lodging establishment where a smoker refuses to comply with the requests of a lodging or restaurant operator or designee, have the operator or designee tell the patron, in your presence, “You are hereby notified that this establishment no longer desires to entertain you as its guest, and you are requested to leave at once. To remain after receipt of this notice is a misdemeanor under the laws of this state.” Thereafter, if the patron refuses to leave, they may be subject to arrest under Florida Statute §509.141 (3). This situation is analogous to a situation involving a trespass after warning.

For more information regarding enforcement of premises licensed by DBPR or to file a complaint, direct the owner/operator to contact the Department’s Customer Care Center at (850) 487-1395. If MCSO deputies have questions regarding this legal bulletin, please contact the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office Legal Division at 305-292-7020.

Legal Updates and Statute Tables Available

Legal updates and summaries explaining changes to state statutes in 2003 are available from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Click here to download the legal summaries in Adobe Acrobat Reader format.

FDLE also provides an updated Arrest/Statute table in Adobe format. Click here to access it.

Awards and Commendations

Left to right, Sgt. Daryl Hull, Det. Dep. Allan Rodriguez,
Records Asst. Mark Bender, Sheriff Rick Roth and, in front,
Cadet Josh Fleeman.

Sheriff’s Employees of the 2nd Quarter honored

At a ceremony held Friday at the Marathon Government Center, Sheriff Rick Roth and a crowd of Sheriffs’ Office employees and family members honored Sheriff’s Office Employees of the Second Quarter, 2003. The following people were honored in five separate categories:

Law Enforcement Officer of the Quarter: Sergeant Daryl Hull, Bureau of Operations, Sector I Region I. Sgt. Hull has been a member of the Sheriff’s Office since January 19, 1987. On June 6th, Sgt. Hull responded to a call of a subject who was threatening to commit suicide and who was armed with a pistol. The subject had even reportedly already fired a round from the pistol prior to Sgt. Hull’s and backup Deputy Joe Cortner’s arrival on the scene. This person was obviously on the edge and alternately held the gun to his own head and then would wave it around.

While waiting for the hostage negotiators to arrive, Sergeant Hull took on that role and was able to calmly talk the subject out of taking his own life before the arrival of any other assistance. Sergeant Hull is one of the great assets that the Sheriff’s Office is able to provide to the community we serve. Daryl continues to make a difference, one person at a time, with his calm, caring, and compassion. It certainly helped save a life that day.

Corrections Deputy of the Quarter: Detention Deputy Allan Rodriguez, Bureau of Corrections, Security Division – KW Facility. Detention Deputy Allan Rodriguez has been a member of the Sheriff’s Office since May 28, 1998. Detention Deputy Rodriguez attended a command meeting and learned of a problem occurring with unaccounted-for spray bottles. The next day while working in Unit Alpha and counting the spray bottles, he discovered some of them missing. He began searching cells in order to locate the missing spray bottles.

He entered an inmate’s cell and noticed that a trash bag was half full. The officer’s training and experience led him to believe that the inmate was hiding something under the trash in the trash bag. After searching the bag and then the cell, three replica handguns, a make shift concealed holster, a hidden door hinge, pushpin, razor blade, and a piece of wire were discovered.

The importance of the search and the confiscation of the potential weapons were clearly illustrated by a prison escape that occurred in Tacoma Washington the following week.

Support Employee of the Quarter: Detention Records Assistant Mark Bender, Bureau of Administration, Central Records. Mark has been a member of the Sheriff’s Office since November 29, 1999. Mark’s quality and quantity of work more than exceeds the acceptable level, his knowledge covers all facets of the facility, and the computer. He also handles himself well in unfamiliar or difficult situations. He is always cooperative and respectful. He uses good judgment and shows initiative in all tasks assigned to him. His attendance is impeccable; he is very dependable and works well without supervision. He is very self motivated.

Reserve Deputy of the Quarter: Reserve Deputy III Jose Lopez, Bureau of Operations, Sector I. Dep. Ensminger has had the privilege to ride with R/D Lopez on several occasions and during those times he has always made the effort to assist when ever possible. R/D Lopez has been the life saver on couple of scenes where he was the only Spanish speaking Officer in the area and was able to get vital information from victims and suspects while always remaining calm and professional manor. R/D Lopez is a great asset to this department always willing and able to help us out at any hour of the day or night by coming out and riding or just even taking a phone call to translate. R/D Lopez has gone beyond the call of a Reserve Deputy III.

Explorer/Cadet of the Quarter: Cadet Josh Fleeman, Bureau of Operations, Explorer/Cadet Section. Josh has been a member of Explorer Post 904 in good standing for the past year. Josh is a fifth grader at Sugarloaf School and a resident of Big Pine Key. Although Josh is only 10 years old he has distinguished himself in several ways. Josh was one of only 3 members of Post 904 (Lower Keys) to receive a perfect attendance award for the past year. With all the activities a kid Josh’s age has going on it’s quite an accomplishment to make all 37 weekly meetings in the course of the school year.

Josh especially distinguished himself and went far beyond the call of duty as the top salesman in our recent boat raffle. Josh attended every raffle sale that we organized. He was tireless in his efforts to sell tickets to anyone and everyone. Josh asked everyone in a 30 square mile radius of Big Pine Key if they wanted to buy a raffle ticket…and many did. Josh single-handedly sold 240 raffle tickets. Boat raffle sales went slowly and it took a great deal of effort and determination to get it completed. Josh was a key player in reaching our goal and raffling off the boat.

Letters of Commendation

  • Pilot Leland Cranmer and Lt. Mike Pandol both received letters of commendation for their work rescuing a 19 year old traffic crash victim from the waters off of Sunshine Key August 2nd. The victim had fallen into the water following the crash and no one at the accident scene knew where he was. Thinking it possible the boy had fallen into the water, Lt. Pandol dispatched Trauma Star to search the water for him. Pilot Cranmer spotted the boy struggling weakly more than a mile off shore and directed rescue vessels to his location. He was successfully rescued due to their efforts.
  • Virginia Schippmann of Key Largo wrote to Sheriff Roth commending Sgt. Don Fanelli, Deputy Sean Heffron, Deputy Greg Laroche and Dispatcher Raye Liu for their help when her toilet flooded her home. She couldn't stop the flooding, so she called 911 for help. Raye Liu was able to calm her, and dispatched deputies to her residence. Not only did they stop the flooding, they helped her clean up the water and Deputy Heffron bought a part for the toilet and repaired it. Schippmann says, "...this is why I have decided to knight them all with "Wings" because they were my guardian angels! Sheriff Roth, you have 3 officers and a dispatcher to be very proud of!"
  • John Perrotti wrote to Sheriff Roth to thank Sgt. Don Fanelli for his help "correcting a wrongdoing". He said, in part, "It is comforting to know in this time of seeming eternal bad press, there are officers who we can look to help us."
  • Frank Feinke wrote to Sheriff Roth to thank Deputy Sonya Morgan for her "professionalism and performance" when she issued him a Warning Notice for having an obscured tag.
  • The Sheriff of DeSoto County, John Fugate, wrote to Sheriff Roth to commend Sgt. Dennis Cain, and an unknown dispatcher who answered his call for help. He and his family traveled to the Keys pulling their boat. While approaching the Seven Mile Bridge, a tire completely separated from their vehicle, leaving them stranded in the roadway with no way to move. Sgt. Cain responded and assisted with the situation. Sheriff Fugate said, in part, "I wanted you to know that this help was provided without Sgt. Cain or the dispatchers knowing who I was until well after his arrival and assistance had been rendered. If their exemplary courtesy and professionalism is indicative of your personnel, you have a department I know you must be very proud of."
  • Dive Team Leader Det. Mark Coleman wrote to Sheriff Roth commending Sgt. Daryl Hull, Reserve Deputy Carol Johnson, Reserve Lt. Bob Smith, Detective Al Ramirez, Reserve Lt. Robert Jason, Detective James Norman, Deputy Mark Long, Deputy David Drennan, Deputy John Whortenbury, Deputy Winifred Higgins and Detective Henry Hamilton as tremendous assets to the Monroe County Sheriff's Office in their positions as Dive Team members.
  • Judge Susan Vernon wrote to Sheriff Roth commending Captain Bob Peryam for going "beyond the call of duty" on May 23, 2003. She and her husband were going to the Fort Lauderdale airport to pick up her young son, who was flying unaccompanied. There was an accident on Grassy Key which could potentially make them late picking him up. Captain Peryam escorted them through the accident scene so her son would not be left alone when he got off the plane.
  • Retired Deputy Frank Orta wrote to thank members of the Sheriff's Office for their "prayers, kindness and support" during his wife's recent illness. He said "Without the assistance rendered, I don't know if I would have been able to cope. You have an outstanding department with exceptional dedicated personnel." He extends special thanks to A.E. Campana, Capt. Remley, Judy Remley, Peco Broussard, Connie Long, Mae Francis Scaramuzzi, Maj. Tommy Taylor, Lt. Mitch Snider, Tamara Snider, Sheriff Roth, Sgt. Frank Mara, David Lariz, plus numerous other staff members.
  • Robert Hopcraft of Key West wrote to Sheriff Roth to commend Deputy Charles Meier for his help. Hopcraft had a flat tire on the Niles Channel Bridge. Dep. Meier escorted him off the bridge and helped him change the tire. He said, in part, "I was amazed that in today's world he would go that far to assist a stranded motorist. It's not a common occurrence anymore."
  • Robert and Vickie Mokros wrote to Sheriff Roth commending Dep. Joe Cortner for his help. Deputy Cortner helped Vickie change a tire "with no regard for the sweat or dirt involved. He had her on her way in no time to get new tires and then on to work."

Support Services

Finance Tidbits

By Finance Director Tom Ravenel

Congratulations to Jose Alvarez who received his U.S. Citizenship on July 29th.  Jose attempted to come to the U.S. on a raft in August, 1994, but was intercepted and sent to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.  On January 24, 1996, Jose was allowed to fly to Miami.  A few months later Jose moved to Key West and worked at the Housing Authority.  Jose was hired by MCSO on July 6, 1999 in the maintenance department at Corrections, and then moved to his present position in Supply.

Please welcome John Fowley as the new Purchasing Agent.  John’s background and experience include purchasing and procurement, fleet maintenance and inventory management.  John retired to the Keys from Massachusetts, but after a year found that he wanted to rejoin the work force.   

The primary function of the Purchasing Agent is to find the most appropriate item at the best price.  Please send your requisitions with any pertinent backup to John for purchasing.  John will be negotiating with various vendors for our routine supply/inventory items as well as special order items. 

MCSO members have been acknowledging Gina Rivas for her prompt and courteous service in processing their travel reimbursement requests!  Thank you for great customer service.

Carol Peterson has been promoted to Staff Accountant.  Carol has been an Accounts Payable Assistant since joining MCSO almost two years ago.  In her new position, Carol will be reconciling general ledger accounts, preparing bills for various contractual arrangements, and reviewing accounts payable.  

Congratulations to Amy Heavilin, Assistant Finance Director, for having recently completed her Master of Business Administration (Accounting) at NOVA Southeastern University.

There are two new grandfathers in the Finance/Supply departments. John Fowley became a grandfather on his first day at work at MCSO. Audrey was born on July 15th.

Skip Lennard became grandfather to Haley on August 18th. Emma Jane turned two on August 19th while visiting grandmother Jane Pritchett.

HIPPA Mandatory Training

By Kristie Hernandez, Human Resources Division

Human Resources is in the process of scheduling training for all Monroe County Sheriff Office employees on the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) Privacy Regulations.

Below is a schedule of when our office will send the HIPPA tapes to your office or scheduled to come to HRD for review.

Date and Times Division

  • August 25 to August 29 Marathon Jail Facility and Marathon Court Security

  • September 1 to September 5 Special Operations/HIDTA

  • September 8 to September 12 Sector VI Islamorada Substation

  • September 15 to September 19 Sector VII Plantation Substation

  • September 22 to September 26 Plantation Key Jail Facility and Plantation Key Court Security

This is mandatory training for all personnel. A training sign off sheet will accompany the tape. Please have the employees complete their portion of the training sign off sheet. This will be placed the employees training folder.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Human Resources at (305) 292-7044.

AIG Valic 457 retirement plan

With AIG VALIC, your dreams of achieving financial security at retirement could become a reality.  VALIC is financially strong with nearly $45 billion in assets, which includes more than $1.4 billion of capital, surplus and asset reserves. 

  • Personal, face-to-face service from trained AIG VALIC financial advisor.

  • Specialized computer-based services for retirement planning and asset allocation.

  •  A wide selection of market-responsive, innovative investment options. 

Our representative John Witzgall from AIG Valic can be contacted at (305) 872-1646, or on his cell - (305) 923-0331.

New Hires

Jodlowski Raymond 05/05/03 Deputy Sheriff
Anderson Ester 05/13/03 Detention Records Assistant
Burns Alvin 05/13/03 Deputy Sheriff
Pla Latrice 05/13/03 DD Auxiliary
Cervantes Alice Lee 05/22/03 Deputy Sheriff
Greenwood Lester 05/26/03 Deputy Sheriff
Johnson Gregg 05/26/03 Deputy Sheriff
Keith Thomas 05/26/03 Deputy Sheriff
Campbell James 06/02/03 Senior Intelligence Analyst
Metzger Michael 06/06/03 Aviation Maintenance Technician
Thomas Kelby 06/09/03 Detention Records Assistant
Bowers Melinda 06/09/03 Records Assistant
Jagoda Jerry 06/09/03 DD Auxiliary
Peryam Allison 06/16/03 Intern
Rivas Damonica 06/24/03 Intern
Avael Darren 06/30/03 DD Auxiliary
Bailey Jeff 06/30/03 DD Auxiliary
Rune Wayne 06/30/03 DD Auxiliary
Mejia-Diesen Hilda 07/03/03 Communications Officer
Hartley Roma Jean 07/07/03 Detention Records Assistant
Rivas Tonya 07/07/03 DD Auxiliary
Smyth Harold 07/10/03 DD Auxiliary
Bouchard Alan 07/10/03 DD Auxiliary
Digiovanni Kris 07/10/03 DD Auxiliary
Reis Elysia 07/10/03 Trainee
Merwin Byron 07/10/03 DD Auxiliary
Albury-Johnson Carol 07/14/03 Records Assistant
Metzger Jane 07/15/03 Communications Officer
Fowley John 07/16/03 Purchasing Agent


Brenda Mounts retired from the Sheriff's Office Finance Division
after 36 years with the agency. We all hope she is enjoying her retirement!
She is pictured here at her retirement party with her husband.

Rivas Damonica Intern 07/31/03
Brown Olga Accreditation Specialist 07/11/03
Diaz Deborah Legal Secretary 08/01/03
Peryam Allison Intern 08/01/03
Brown Johnny Airport Security Technician 07/16/03
Cross Bryan Deputy Sheriff 07/28/03
Haskins Jeffrey Detention Deputy 08/10/03
Hohmann Edward Deputy Sheriff 07/03/03
Keith Thomas Deputy Sheriff 07/08/03


Fain Sharon Promotion 07/01/03
Amoako David Promotion 07/16/03


What’s Happening

Local Sheriff's Deputy receives Graduate Degree

Lieutenant Larry Kelley (on left), Marathon Station Commander for the Monroe County Sheriff's Office, was recently conferred a Master of Arts Degree in Leadership from the School of Business of Bellevue University, Bellevue, Nebraska. The two-year graduate program covered areas of the practical application of values-based leadership and a fundamental understanding of legal, constitutional and ethical issues in management in both private business and governmental environments. His undergraduate degree was in Criminal Justice Administration. Pictured here, presenting the diploma locally is Marathon District Commanding Officer, Captain Bob Peryam.

Funny (but true) story from Lynn Christian

Thought ya'll could use a good laugh...I had one heck of a morning. I'm riding down US1 in the old Civic and a  rat snake came crawling out from underneath the hood of my car. Did he fall off like a gecko at 60 mph? Heck no! The sucker came along side the driver window, so I got to see how big and nasty he was. He continued to the rear window, then turned around to head back. I'm on the 7 Mile Bridge, so I have nowhere to go. I finally pulled off at the FKAA building, and my friend Greg from Scouts saved me. I can barely talk from having screamed for 7 miles. Greg said it was a rat snake, thought it was adorable, picked it up off the window and set it free to roam in their yard. He called it a good snake. Of course, he's laughing the entire time as he's checking for additional friends, in case the little guy had been throwing a party. And that's how my day started. I sure as heck didn't need any con leche this morning!  --Lynn

From the Division of Corrections

By Sgt. "Micky" Simonet

Since I have been transferred into Inmate Services, Sgt. Age hasn't forgiven me for abandoning him on the shift. And, in case you didn't know, we call officers in administrative positions "Rug Officers" or "Carpet Sergeants". To him, I have now become "Carpet Sgt. Simonet.

Sgt. Age has been adopted by Mary Cohen, as he is helping her with the tons of files and paperwork our accreditation status has created. As you can see, Tim gives a whole new meaning to the term "Carpet Sgt.". I don't think I need to elaborate on what he was saying in this picture....just fill in the blanks.

Art Behind Bars Birthday Bash 

Art Behind Bars, the art-based community service program for inmates, is pleased to announce that it will celebrate its "9th Birthday Party Show" on Friday, September 19th, 2003, at the Pier House Resort's Caribbean Spa from 6-9 p.m. In addition to showcasing the artwork and community service projects of the local program, highlights of the event will include a show of inmate art from all over the country, and a silent auction featuring the work of local and national artists. The work of Art After Bars will also be shown. There will be food, live entertainment, and of course, birthday cake.

Art Behind Bars is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. All proceeds from the event go back into the program; this is their major fundraiser of the year. The event is sponsored in part by the Monroe County Sheriff's Office, Florida Arts Council, Division of Cultural Affairs, National Endowment of the Arts, Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville, and private donations. For more information, check out their website at or email

Happy Birthday Anne!

Happy Birthday to Anne Leonard....The Communications Division
helped her celebrate her birthday recently. Here she is in the midst
of enjoying the party. 29 again, Anne?

Congratulations, Sgt. Elomina

DEA special agent Abraham Conn recently presented Sgt. Donnie Elomina
and the Sheriff's Office with a certificate of thanks for assistance with several
ongoing investigations. He also presented Sheriff Roth with an American Flag
which flew in Iraq while Agent Conn was serving active duty there recently.