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Sheriff Roth met with Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen this month to show her the site of the new upper Keys Sheriff's Office substation on Plantation Key.

Sheriff's Report:

June 1st is coming up, and as always at this time of the year, we tackle two difficult subjects: hurricanes and the budget process. Last month, I talked about hurricanes. This month. I'll say a few words about the budget.

Most of you are primarily concerned with the issue of pay raises. This year, we have been in discussions with the Fraternal Order of Police about many subjects, including this one. The result of our talks is a slightly more complex system when it comes to pay raises for employees. We are asking for the following:

  • 10.25% salary increase for law enforcement and corrections personnel. This increase is based on a proposal presented by the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) during collective bargaining contract negotiations. The FOP represents certified law enforcement and corrections personnel.
  • 10.25% salary increase for law enforcement and corrections commanders who supervise the bargaining unit, as well as other certified staff that are excluded from the unit. I have also included communications officers in this group given the critical nature of their function.
  • 6.8% salary increase for all non-certified support staff.

These figures do not mean that all union members will receive a raise of 10.25%. Details of how the overall increase in the salary budget will be distributed are still being worked out with the FOP. Most likely some people will get more and some less, depending on criteria specified by the FOP leadership. I'll talk about this more as the fiscal year progresses, and I'm sure union leaders would be happy to explain their reasons for this variable raise to you if you ask them. They should also be able to give you some idea of where you stand in their evaluation of employee pay levels.

As for the rest of the budget, it will be posted on our web site within the next couple of weeks for everyone to review. In synopsis, it includes:

Public Safety Budget for fiscal year 2004-2005 of $39,234,686 which represents an increase of $3,081,724 over the currently approved Public Safety Budget. This increase is due to the salary increases listed above, as well as the following:

  • An increase in personnel to allow the Sheriff’s Office to sponsor a law enforcement academy at the community college. The budget has been increased $131,919 to accommodate this academy.
  • Increased operating costs which are primarily the result of increases in inmate medical and food contracts, gasoline, utilities, aviation, and fleet maintenance expenses. The increase in these line items totals $813,270.

Ask the Administration

Question 1: I have a question regarding the new policy at the jail (corrections).

We were informed in our briefing about a new policy Captain Phelps has put in motion. We were informed that you could only miss four days a year on sick time. If not, your eval will reflect it. Hence, maybe you will not get a merit increase for that year. I have some questions regarding this policy:

1. I researched our general orders for this policy and could not find it. Is this a new policy and we have not received our supplement yet?

2. I really thought about this policy and can not come up with anything good about it. The problem I see with it is: one year your completely healthy for the year but the next year your not. One month stomach virus (out for a couple of days) a couple of months go by and then you get the flu (out for a couple of days) and your eval will reflect negatively. You can have years of good evals and then, one year your eval drops because of this. Another thing about this policy is if I'm sick and I knew I had already missed a couple of days in the beginning of the year, I will have no choice but to come to work sick and under the influence of meds because I will be too scared to miss because of my eval. I'm really starting to wonder if there is some liability issue here.

3. I would like to know if this policy is for all of Monroe County Sheriff employees. P.S. I did ask these questions, but was not given answer except this is per Captain Phelps.

Answered by Major Tommy Taylor: 

Has a new sick leave policy been implemented in the Key West Jail?

Response:  Absolutely Not!  The agency (MCSO) leave policy is the only policy that is being adhered to in the jail.  In reference to the member’s concern  about, if you are out four days a year because of illness, it will be reflected in your annual performance evaluation as well as impact member’s merit increase.

The member’s performance score and merit increase may be affected if the member’s supervisor discovers an abusive use of sick time.  This does not include long time illness and injuries that result in FMLA or workman’s compensation.  Abusive sick time indicates unprofessional conduct and may affect the member’s performance evaluation that deal with attendance and punctuality.  This in turn may affect the overall evaluation score that could fall below a 3.0.

That being the case, per agency policy, evaluations below a 3.0 are not eligible for a merit increase.

Abuse of sick time costs the agency money in overtime to cover mandatory security posts in the jail.  All supervisors are tasked to reduce overtime use and it has been determined in some cases that abusive use of sick time is causing overtime. If a member is determined to be an abuser of sick time and a clear pattern of abuse is established, the supervisor will take the appropriate corrective action such as: counseling, directing the member to certify their absence when calling in sick by requiring a doctor’s slip. 

Abuse of sick time will not be tolerated!           

Bureau of Operations

Sector I Report

By Lt. Mitch Snider

Since our fearless leader is out learning how to drive busses and RV’s for the future Sector I mobile polygraph/ command post/ wave runner/ fishing vehicle purchase, the task of updating everyone about the lower 40 has fallen unto me. Here is the quick 60-second recap:

  • Sgt. Jim Wirth has now joined the ranks of Harley Owners Group (HOG’s) with his new Heritage Classic. Now if he can just pass his motorcycle test…
  • Sonya Morgan, recently defected from the middle 40, has been moved up from vampire status to the day shift as well as joining the FTO club. We will be seeing little recruit clones of her in the near future (that’s a good thing, really!)
  • Paul Shultz earned a well-deserved recognition as officer of the quarter. He is consistently a top performer, just joined the FTO club, and was nominated for doggedly pursuing a drug dealer that had dumped 35 baggies of cocaine, even after being injured by a metal gate that was slammed on him. Congratulations Paul!
  • Frank Gianino has had more positive return cards from the Community Relations division than anyone else. He even had a ‘psychological disordered type person’ hand write a thank you letter to him for helping them out last month. I guess this means we will need to change the picture in the dictionary next to ‘officer friendly’ now. That is what happens when you take the extra effort to treat people nice. Thank you Frank.
  • Our two newest late night show additions have passed the FTO program with lots of compliments from that exacting crew. Congratulations and welcome to Henry Delvalle and Evan Calhoun.
  • Speaking of the FTO’s…they have been worked really hard with four people in the program at the same time. I want to really thank all of them for their efforts; Sonya, Paul, Ed, Diane, Jorge, Tom, and Jay. Even Matt and Charlie helped out when in a pinch although poor Sgt. Vaughn Sommers’ FTO schedule looks like a herd of stampeding Key West chickens marked it up to determine who was riding with whom.
  • Sea Lobster on Stock Island is becoming a near legendary ‘no fly zone’ for trespassing. Air controllers from elevated positions in adjacent buildings at night are identifying targets for ground units to sweep up and it is fun to see all the familiar faces in the arrested section each day. Nice work everyone.
  • Sgt. Hull has moved out to Idaho…for a month…we hope he decides to come back soon as I am worried that any day now I may find Diane with a gray hair. We are all sorry about his pet horse’s injury that became too severe to work with any longer. Daryl says he just plans on riding mules while on his long vacation though. I think he has finally found an animal kindred sprit that matches his own unique temperament. Of course I am talking about the GOOD qualities found in the common mule, such as sweet dispositions and hardiness, not the stubborn hard-headedness that they are also renowned for.
  • Freddy set up his own interesting combination Border Checkpoint/ 7mile bridge run Traffic control point, showing his multitasking talents last month.
  • Jen left us for points north this month, but the Captain with his usual efficiency, had a replacement lined up within two hours of submitting her letter. As good as she was, and as much as she will be truly missed, she failed to see the humor in that (or maybe she did and I missed it) as she began immediately turning in keepers, OC, etc..
  • Junior Pineiro has migrated south for the spring and has entered the FTO program. We would all like to welcome him on board and wish him the best of luck.
  • Speaking of defectors and new people, there is a rumor that one day we will be getting Greg Korzen from the middle 40. His reputation precedes him as the sergeants are all fighting over who will get him on their squad (it was a bloodless coup though…relatively).

Everyday is entertaining around here. It is hard to keep things politically correct AND within a 60 second limit though so I will end it here for this month. Hopefully Captain Scibilia will be back in this column next month…or I may threaten to make the next piece a little more ‘colorful’.

Sector 7 Report

By Captain Jenny Bell-Thomson

This is a lucky time for Sector 7 – at the moment we are fully staffed! Contributing to that are our several new people: Ken Baker whom we stole from the jail, and Jeff Parker and Robaeros Ramos who came to us from Florida City. Welcome aboard!

We will miss Jim Ford who chose HIDTA over road patrol – thanks a bunch, Jim! Seriously, though, we wish you good luck and hope you enjoy the new job.

In other personnel changes, our new records assistant Haydee Martinez has just been chosen to fill the vacant CIU secretary position left open by the resignation of Cathy Hisko. Cathy moved back to the frigid north so she could be near her grandchildren. We will miss her dearly, but know that Haydee will competently fill her shoes.

Our thanks to Deputy Laura Garcia for spearheading our participation in this year’s Relay for Life event. Laura offered up a little bit of competition between Sectors 6 and 7 to see who could raise more money for this worthy event. Of course, Sector 7 was the undeniable winner – raising $280. compared to a paltry $10. from Sector 6. Better luck next time, folks!

However, we do thank Sector 6 for the terrific assistance they provided us during our manhunt for a burglar in Key Largo. They responded without hesitation – we didn’t even need to ask – and rotated personnel during the entire time so that there was always a Sector 6 deputy or supervisor on scene to help. We appreciate that a great deal.

We offer condolences to the family of Sgt. Lou Caputo on the loss of Lou’s stepfather recently, and also to Captain Leiter on the loss of his daughter. Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with you both.

Construction is moving at a rapid pace in the new building. Cabinets are going in this week and it appears as if the interior will be finished in good time. Issues on the exterior, though, are what will put us behind unless they are resolved soon. We are still cautiously optimistic about a November grand opening. As I sit here and stare at the crumbling walls around me – really – it just can’t be too soon.

Sector 6 Report

By Captain Joe Leiter

The big event in Islamorada this month was of course Hospitality Expo, formerly Bartender's Week, at Holiday Isle.  I want to thank all of those who participated, both on duty and off, from all Sectors, Marine Units, Corrections, FWC and Coast Guard.  It has grown to such a big event we needed all the help we could get. By late Tuesday afternoon there was a waiting list for prisoners to be booked at the Sheriff's Office Command Post.   There were 3,000 to 4,000 people in and around Holiday Isle, 800-1000 boats at the sandbar and Whale Harbor Channel, and lots of partying everywhere.  But thanks to all the help, and large police presence,  no one was seriously injured or killed. 

 The final numbers were:  MCSO & FWC...57 Calls for Service, 560 vessel stops/boardings, 48 arrests, 17 Boating Under the Influence by FWC (great job!), 8 Marchman Act detentions of intoxicated persons, 1 Battery on LEO and various arrests for trespassing, disorderly conduct, disorderly intoxication and domestic violence.  Also 133 boating citations were issued.US Coast Guard:  480 vessel spot checks for safety, registration, and loading violations; 25 vessel citations, 10 terminated voyages; and 4 BUI suspects turned over to FWC.   I'm sure glad this only happens once a year! 

Report from Marathon and Sector 5

By Lt. Larry Kelley

I don’t have enough time for a lengthy report, but that is not a bad thing. Since my last entry we have gained a lot of personnel. I would like to welcome four new officers we have in the FTO program. Andrew Warwick, Luis Blasco, Sheila Swindle and Amanda Barger. It is great to have these dedicated officers and we look forward to getting them through their training and evaluations and on the road. We will be starting three more officers on the program soon, Renand Presendieu starts June 2 and Sherman Foster and Kevin Jacko begin on June 7. Renand comes to us from Orlando and this is his first law enforcement job but Sherman and Kevin are currently deputies with the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office and have elected to come to our agency. We welcome them all and are here to help them fulfill their dreams of working our islands.

We just finished a weekend of Offshore Powerboat Racing and all went well. The officers on the details worked hard to see that traffic moved smoothly and safely and the visitors enjoyed their program. A special thanks to Sergeant Susan Greenwood for coordinating the massive number of assets needed to pull this one off. We will be doing it again in the next few weeks so get ready for lots more OT.

Sergeant Dennis Cain did a wonderful job setting up and overseeing a children’s Bicycle Rodeo at Switlik School last weekend and it went off without a hitch. I am disappointed there was not a better attendance by local parents and children but we did what we needed to so the community was afforded the ability to give their children exposure to safe riding equipment and techniques. Additional thanks go out to the officers involved in the program, Deputies Luis Rivera, Iscandel Perez, Detective Charlene Sprinkle-Huff and Child Seat Technician Deputy Lin Badman. You all did a wonderful job giving the children the opportunity they deserve. The Marathon Fire Department was also there to demonstrate fire safety measures and we thank them as well.

Deputy Harry Boyden and Deputy Derrick Paul are both up in Miami this week at Marine Enforcement School. The city boat is in full use now and has been all over the county lately for special events - Bartenders week at Holiday Isle, the Marathon boat races, and Coast Guard Safe Boating Day in Key West. Keep up the efforts, Harry, you serve us all well.

Sergeant Sam Cassel and his FTOs are all doing such a good job keeping up with the responsibilities of getting our new hires trained and evaluated. I know it is an arduous task but they are stepping up and we are all very proud of their efforts. There will be many days of hard work ahead but we are finally filling all our positions and this will strengthen our ability to serve the community to the standard we all strive for.

Sergeants Gene Thompson, Deb Ryan and Detective James Norman gave a wonderful power-point presentation to the command staff last week at the Colonel’s staff meeting. It was a study and recommendation of a program designed to reduce police vehicle crashes. I commend them for the work they did and the steps they took to bring this to our attention. It was truly above and beyond.

I will keep this short. Be safe and work hard. Your efforts are seen by most and appreciated by all.

Note from Communications: Dissemination of F/NCIC Information

By Michelle Rabinowitz

Just want to remind everyone who uses the F/NCIC for research that all information obtained is to be released ONLY to Law Enforcement Personnel. If it is provided to anyone outside of Law Enforcement and used by them inappropriately (remember, the last election campaign four years ago?), then the Deputy or staff member that released that information to the non-Law Enforcement individual would be subject to legal implications. This possibly includes losing your access to F/NCIC and CJNET, losing your job, being sued by FDLE, the victim (from the results of the incident), and the individual who obtained the information. Basically, there could be a lot of negative consequences if we are not vigilant in keeping our F/NCIC information confidential.  

Please don’t forget that information can be disseminated for Law Enforcement purposes - in the process of performing your duties. However, be aware of how this information may be used and consider it carefully when you make the decision to share it with someone. 

If you have any questions, please send an email message to your Terminal Agency Coordinator (TAC) Michelle Rabinowitz. Help is always a shout away.

Awards and Commendations

Employee of the First Quarter

Click here for pictures of the Employees of the Quarter, and Service Awards

Recently, the Sheriff’s Staff met and took into consideration those nominations for Officer/Member of the Quarter that were submitted for the First Quarter of 2004. As a result of this consideration the following members were selected:

SWORN : Deputy Paul Schultz has always been a top performer in the Sector I, as the actions he took on February 19th demonstrate. While patrolling Stock Island, Deputy Schultz observed a person riding a motorcycle without a license tag. He followed the subject into the parking lot of the Stock Island apartment complex, and observed him move behind a parked car where he quickly took an item out of his pocket and placed it behind the passenger rear tire. The suspect had just thrown down 35 baggies of cocaine (23 grams) and marijuana (7 grams). The subject subsequently fled on foot and slammed a metal gate on Deputy Schultz's hand as he pursued. Deputy Schultz continued anyway and captured the suspect. Because of these actions, Deputy Schultz continues to remove drug dealers from the area, and improve the quality of life for the citizens in his community.

CORRECTIONS: Detention Deputy Alesha Ensminger has been at the Marathon Facility for about a year and within that time, she has demonstrated outstanding leadership. The Marathon Facility experienced a shortage of supervisors several months ago. During that time, supervisors were shifted around to best accommodate the facility. No one was willing to accept the responsibility of Officer in Charge (OIC) on her shift. Officer Ensminger ended up running her own shift, which was short staffed. Since taking on the responsibilities, she has shown true professionalism and dedication to the job and the agency. Her remarkable ability when dealing with emotional and violent inmates is admirable.

Officer Ensminger sees through situations and possible outcomes and then uses good judgment when making decisions. One might say this sounds like a normal routine, well it is, but you must remember this officer has less than two years experience. Her supervisory skills have been consistent and stalwart. She is known for her dedication and knowledge of the job and most of all, having faith in officers. She believes in developing people. When one of our sergeants returned from Military duty after thirteen months, she was instrumental at getting him up to speed on all aspects of operating the satellite facility.

Officer Ensminger was nominated as female Officer of the Year for the American Legion Post 154 of Marathon during the month of March 2004. We here at the Marathon Detention Facility and the Sheriff’s Office are very grateful for her generous contribution as a young leader and team spirit.

SUPPORT :  Ms. Karol Cotton wears many hats, which include coordinator and client case manager for the teen court program. She also has supervisory responsibilities and is case manager for the civil citation program. She oversees the volunteer youth council, at HOB. The HOB youth council sanctions students who violate school policies that do not rise to the level of a civil citation. She participates in their volunteer activities because the program acts as a feeder program for the teen court when the middle school kids reach high school age.

She participates regularly with several assessment teams that meet weekly to discuss, offer advice, and recommend action relative to at risk children. These include FSPT, family services planning team, SST, the Children’s Shelter Student Truancy program at Key West High School, and DJJ/IDDS, the Juvenile Justice and the Sheriff’s diversion program service planning team.

She also provides invaluable assistance to the juvenile programs supervisor and Director Greg Artman. She performs these yeomen tasks with equanimity, and without fuss, all while acting as the designated babysitter for three daughters each with a grandchild under 5 years of age and another grandchild on the way.

Ms. Cotton handles her administrative, case management, and other related duties with great care and competence. This acknowledgement is well deserved.

 RESERVE : Certified Auxiliary Reserve Sgt. Robert Jason’s continuous service to the MCSO’s Dive Team remains exemplary. At 0300 hours on Monday, February 2, 2004, Sgt. Jason responded to a dive team call-out to the site of a plane crash in Monroe County section of the Florida Everglades. He personally selected the special equipment required for that mission, loaded the dive trailer, and towed it with his POV to a relay point with a Sheriff’s Office vehicle. Upon arrival at the staffing site in Flamingo, Florida, Sgt. Jason supervised the loading of the Park Service Helicopter and flew with the equipment into the crash site, where he established a base of operations for the remainder of the team, who followed by boat and by hiking a quarter mile through difficult terrain. For the remainder of the day, Sgt. Jason participated with the team in the difficult, dangerous, and grim recovery of sufficient human remains to permit positive identification of both crash victims. He stood down only after returning to Key West and cleaning and storing the contaminated equipment shortly before midnight. This service went above and beyond his reserve responsibilities.

Again, at 1930 hours on Tuesday, March 23, 2004, Sgt. Jason responded to a dive team call-out, this time for the largest multi-agency search and recovery operation ever launched in the Florida Keys, for a Special Forces solider who had been lost in the bay during helocast operations. On his own initiative, Sgt. Jason contacted a civilian organization that had previously contributed special equipment to the Richard Roth Marine Public Safety Annex at FKCC and obtained use of a side-scan sonar that was not available through any of the military agencies involved in the operation. For the next two days, Sgt. Jason coordinated use of this equipment that served as the centerpiece of the search operation. He remained on duty through Friday morning, the 26th, when the victim’s body was recovered. The extraordinary cooperation exhibited in the use of civilian resources by law enforcement personnel for a military search and recovery operations was formally recognized by the Commanding Officer of the U.D. Army Special Forces Underwater Operations School through subsequent citations.

EXPLORER : Cadet Ryan Kruger has been with Post 905 for two years now and has had to over come some big hurdles. He is by nature a small built young man; however, when faced with a challenge, you would think he is ten feet tall. Cadet Kruger has always been one to be first to volunteer for training, details, or whatever the Post is doing. Because of his size, we have been fearful of allowing him to park cars, as we did not want to see him injured. He proved to us that he could park cars and park more cars than the older and bigger explorers could. He would and still does run the parking lot to see where there is an empty spot and then flags the car to it. Even if it means that he stands in one spot waving his arm until the driver sees him.

Cadet Kruger has the energy of the every ready bunny. He is able to make the best out of any situation and make the detail more enjoyable for all. He will make you smile and reminds us why the Explorer/ Cadet program is so important. He is a constant reminder of what pride, integrity, and guts are all about.

Service Awards:


David Reccoppa

Karen King 

Sever Hustad

Louis Rivera

Roderick Laquire

Stacey Medina

Jennifer Paton

Jose Alvarez


Jane Pritchett

Colleen Carter

Ronald Sylvester

Mary Clance

Rebecca Roberts


Michael Langston

Edna Woodberry


William Moran



Jenny Bell-Thomson

Letters of Thanks and Commendation

Anita Brackett, Regional Director of Catholic Charities wrote to the Sheriff about Deputy Emil LaVache: "Volunteers come and volunteers go, but guardian angels are always with us. So it is with Emil LaVache...Emil LaVache exemplifies the good will of your office wherever he goes."

Robert Muench, president of the Lime Grove Estates Homeowners' Association, wrote to Sheriff Roth to commend Sgt. Lou Caputo for his efforts at helping residents to acquire a county sponsored pump-out boat to serve local live-aboard vessels anchored offshore of Key Largo. He says, in part, "Your department can be as proud as we are of Sgt. Lou Caputo and his efforts to go the extra mile to make this a better and safer community."

Peter Horton, Director of Airports for Monroe County, wrote to Airport Security Technician Ovilda Lake to commend her for her actions to enforce security at the airport on April 20, 2004. He wrote, in part, "I was on the airside in my airport vehicle...on my way back across the SIDA I failed to check in with you at the guard shack. Without hesitation, you immediately radioed a deputy to report the security breach. According to your training, you were instructed to report any security violations, no matter who was involved....By taking action immediately, you proved that the security measures we have put in place work and are effective...Thank you for your diligence and for performing your duties in a highly professional manner.

A Fort Myers woman wrote to Sheriff Roth to commend Deputy Andrew Leird for his help with a flat tire. She wrote, in part, "He was such a help! He was kind, considerate, efficient and very professional."

A Miami woman wrote to Sheriff Roth to commend Sgt. Joseph Passerelli for his help in April when her husband became faint behind the wheel of a car and ran off the road. She wrote, in part, "I was behind him (her husband) approximately 10 minutes, when I got to the site Officer Joe Passarelli was on the scene. Sergeant Passerelli was a godsend, he helped me get the dogs and 2 children in my car for the return trip....he stayed with my husband until he was taken to the hospital, then he called me to tell me which hospital. I will never forget his kindness and help."

David Stark, Director of Public Safety at Ocean Reef, wrote to Sheriff Roth to commend Deputy Larry Benedict. Deputy Benedict assisted with the design and implementation of a "dial up computer system" for the new Ocean Reef Public Safety facility.

Michael Maroone of Auto Nation wrote to Sheriff Roth to commend Deputy Will Schlegelmilch for his help with the 2004 Maroone MS150 Bike Tour in April. Deputy Schlegelmilch worked at a rest stop on Card Sound Road and was "vigilant in manning his position to ensure the safety of the bikers and the vehicular traffic."

Property owners on Saratoga Lane in Key Largo all signed a letter to Sheriff Roth commending Sgt. Lou Caputo for helping them obtain a no parking sign for their cul-de-sac. The letter says, in part, "We all feel more secure that an emergency vehicle could get to us without any problems."

Sgt. Bobby Randolph received a letter of thanks from a woman for his help in finding a lost family member. She said that the family had previously hired a private investigator and had another family member who is in law enforcement, but all previous attempts to find the lost person had failed. Sgt. Randolph managed to find the lost person in less than a week.

Attorney John Rotolo wrote to Sheriff Roth to thank Corrections Officers for the treatment he received while in jail recently for a short time. He wrote, in part, "The experience was not one I'm anxious to repeat, but the compassion, consideration and decency of several members of your Detention staff made it a lot less harrowing for me than it might have been." In particular, he thanked Lt. Roger Bluestone, Sgt. Frank Mara, and Detention Deputies James Adams, Joe Disher and David Stubblefield.

This letter came from Jay Massaro, President and Owner of Third Generation Plumbing in Marathon: "Marathon’s finest, Deputies Derek Paul and Luis Blasco have proven that “Sworn To Serve And Protect’ is a commitment and not just a motto. On May 1st, 2004 Deputy Paul and Deputy Blasco responded to a burglary at Third Generation Plumbing, where our pet and mascot, an African Grey parrot named Sunshine was stolen from her cage. Sunshine has been a part of our family for over 22 years, and it distressed us greatly that she was stolen...the deputies quickly used their experience and savvy to establish a network that located our parrot. Sunshine was recovered six hours after she was taken and that same day a suspect was behind bars. The way the sheriffs office handled this whole situation sends a message that if you break the law on Deputy Paul’s or Deputy Blasco’s beat you will be caught... but fast! Not only was I impressed with the diligence and speed of these deputies, but also by the recovery and personal delivery of some of the stolen items to my home on Sunday evening by officer Derek Paul, This seems to go above and beyond the call of duty. Despite Deputy Paul’s insistence that luck was a major factor in the successful recovery, I know that dedication and professionalism is not a characteristic stumbled upon by luck, It is a funny thing about luck — the more you work at it the luckier you get. To the Monroe County Sheriffs Office — Thank you for making our community a safer place to live."

Bill Murray, owner of Murray Marine on Stock Island, wrote to Sheriff Roth commending Detective Henry Hamilton and Deputy Jorge Morffi and Deputy Evan Calhoun for their investigation and assistance with the recovery of Murray's stolen boat. He wrote, in part, "There have been several times over the years that deputies have been to help out at Murray Marine. I cannot think of one time I was not impressed with the dedicated officers on staff. This is the first time I have ever personally needed a deputy. My experience was very positive."

Detective Donald Catala, Acting Supervisor for lower Keys CIU, wrote to the Sheriff to commend a number of employees for their help in solving a chain of School and Church burglaries which took place in April. He commended the following employees: Detectives Manny Cuervo, Jeremy Davy, Ben Lowe, Henry Hamilton and Don Dalton; Deputies Nelson Sanchez, Jim Ford, Joseph Moran, Lyle Agins; Detective Sgt. Corey Bryan and Sgt. Tim Hurd; Crime Scene Technician Gary McCullough and Deputy (PIO) Becky Herrin.

Deputy Lin Badman wrote to Major Tommy Taylor recommending he recognize a number of employees who took part in the Marathon Relay for Life event  in March. She thanked the following employees for their hard work in raising over $3,200 for the event: Sgt. Dennis Cain, Deputies Chuck Kellenberger, Sonya Morgan, Harry Boyden, Charlene Sprinkle-Huff, Joel Slough and Records Assistant Jennifer Hodges.

Retired Police Chief Thomas Matteo wrote to Detective Larry O'Neill to "personally thank you again for the professional courtesy and demeanor that you displayed during your assignment at Popps Motel on Saturday, May 15th, 2004. As a professional Law Enforcement Officer for over 28 years, I always attempt to applaud the efforts of fine Police personnel when I encounter them on the streets."

Support Services


By Director Diane O'Dell

The Property and Evidence Division is a very important part of the Monroe County Sheriff's Office and other Law Enforcement Agencies. Like all other departments it has a tremendous number of rules and regulations, policies and procedures. These rules, regulations, policies and procedures require specific actions on the part of all of us because of the importance and critical nature of what we are doing.

The mistakes in our packaging and handling procedures are increasing. This is creating delays in the analysis of these cases. When evidence is submitted incorrectly it must be returned to the submitting officer for correction. We only return evidence that is incorrectly done for FDLE submission. As property and evidence personnel, returning evidence back to the submitting officer is the most complicated part of our jobs.

The Property and Evidence Division in Key West is open 8am to 5pm Monday to Friday. In Marathon Station it's open 9am to 4pm Tuesday and Thursday. In Plantation Key it's open 8am to 5pm Monday, Wednesday and Friday. If officers call us for assistance we try to accommodate their time. We pick up in Marathon and Plantation Key Property and Evidence Division on a weekly basis. We pick up Headquarters and Freeman Station as needed. We go to FDLE after we have picked up the whole county.

When evidence is incorrectly submitted to Property and Evidence, it must be returned to the submitting officer. In order to do that, we must first contact that officer and let him/her know what the problem is. The only means of communication we have is by e-mail and by phone. We also send written notices to the submitting officers when there is a problem with their evidence.

Remember: submitting evidence improperly means you are automatically adding to the time it will take for the evidence to be processed. The moment that case is returned by the Property and Evidence Division it means a minimum of a week's delay because if a case is returned to the officer it's not going to make it to FDLE that week. Lately, this has become a real problem. The packaging of evidence by officers has gotten so bad lately that we have had cocaine and marijuana spilling out on our desks and floors.

We all work for the same person. We all work for the same mission. We need to work together. When your case is returned to you for correction it's because something is wrong and FDLE lab will not accept it in that condition. In some cases certain types of packaging are required to ensure the safety of those who have to handle that package. In other cases certain documentation is needed to maintain the integrity of those who have to handle that case and to maintain the chain of custody.

All we ask is a little cooperation. Let's work together to correct the problem of proper evidence packaging as soon as possible. If any of you would like to spend time working with the Property and Evidence Division to get a better picture of what our office is all about, call me and I'd be happy to set it up. Also, if you have any questions at all about the proper packaging of evidence, call me and ask. I'd rather answer a few questions and make sure it's done right the first time. Our phone number is 292-7026.

Note from the Records Division

By Tiffany O'Connell

I have just a couple of things I'd like to mention in this month's Rap Sheet.

Offense reports: If you have to put State of Florida as a victim please put it in the business section(F2) not name section (F3). Also when linking to a warrant or an arrest report please do not link the victim. We just started to use the Vine System again and if there a phone number in the MNI record and it is linked, it will continuously call the number until we notify Vine to stop it.

VINE: When giving out vine cards or pamphlets please advise the victim that the pin number is the last four digits of their phone number. This information is not currently printed on either of those documents.

From the Finance Division

Dear Finance:

What a bad day I’m having! I started out splitting the seam on my uniform pants. The tire on my vehicle was flat, the flip cover broke off my cell phone, my FIU membership has expired, the gas pumps are down so I have to use a local gas station, and the fax machine is broken in the office. Now I’m told I need requisitions with proper approvals on them to get anything taken care of. What’s with all the paperwork? Can’t you simplify my life?

Frustrated in Paradise

Dear Frustrated:

Hope things have improved by the time you receive this. It’s not the goal of Finance to make life difficult for anyone. We simply try to follow established procedures that although at times may seem to be a real pain, actually have a method to the madness. The pot of gold at the end of the rainbow is not limitless. Each penny is accountable. If you think dealing with Finance is a nightmare, imagine how it is for me dealing with auditors questioning where the pennies went.

A requisition provides Finance with the documentation necessary to assist the individual responsible for each department’s funds in knowing how the money is being spent. It also indicates to purchasing what is needed, from where, for how much and for whom. With so many locations, it sometimes takes numerous phone calls to determine where a package actually goes. The requisition results in a Purchase Order being issued to a vendor whereby we will know how much the invoice should be when it arrives. The blue copy of the PO sent to the individual needing the merchandise is to be returned to Finance signed and dated when the items are received. Upon receipt of the invoice, we can verify that the merchandise has been received and the invoice amount is what we expected it to be. Without that signed receipt, it now becomes our job to find out if we ever got what we’re being asked to pay for. Please feel free to come by Finance anytime and help me track whether items were received and where they actually went. The smallest item can sometimes result in calls to the vendor, Fed Ex, and several agency people. I hate to have to be the one taking up your time on such mundane matters as whether you’ve received a fax toner cartridge you ordered, but without notification of receipt, I can’t pay the bill. That leaves me with a vendor calling for his money that I can’t give him. And unhappy vendors are no fun!

I hope this helps you understand why I ask for the necessary paperwork. I don’t have stock in a paper company, nor do I like killing any more trees than necessary. Like everyone else, I try my best to avoid having bad days. Please be assured that Finance and Purchasing want to help you get all that you need to do your job and keep you from having a bad day too.

All of us in Finance

General News

Kids participate in National Crime Victim's Rights Week

On Tuesday, May 25, 2004, the students at Sugarloaf Elementary were presented with Certificates of Appreciation from Sheriff Richard Roth for their participation in National Crime Victim’s Rights Week Art Exhibit.    These children gave of their time to the community to depict in multiple mediums their perception of “America’s Values.”  We should be proud of our children, and their families.

 One week is set a side each year to honor those victims, witnesses, survivors of violent crimes, as well as those individuals and agencies who give of themselves to provide for these persons. 

Cadets participate in flag raising

Sheriff's Office Cadets took part in a special ceremony commemorating the 50th Anniversary of Brown v. Education, the supreme court ruling that outlawed segregation. The ceremony was held on the steps of the Monroe County Courthouse in Key West with Judge Richard Payne and the Superintendant of Schools John Padgett speaking.

From left to right: Explorer Angela Rainer, Explorer Cpl. Siramad Mercano-Diaz and Explorer Sgt. Andrea Rainer

Gym Passes & Unauthorized Personnel

Several months back Director Painter had to pull all existing gym passes for the DJJ Building and cancelled them out due to the fact that we had unauthorized individuals using the Sheriff’s Office equipment and/or having individuals bring in their personal trainers. New passes were issued, agreements signed, and things seemed to be going great…

Once again, we have received information this week that the personal trainers and unauthorized individuals are back. An unauthorized individual is anyone who does not work for a law enforcement agency (i.e., state, county, and federal) or Monroe County, or who has not been otherwise approved to use the facility. You as a Sheriff’s Office employee have a right to question anyone who is in the gym using our equipment. You have the right to ask them to leave immediately if they’re being disorderly or misusing the equipment. We are really “self-policing” our own gym. All employees of the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office are in charge of protecting our investment; our equipment and our fitness center. All that we ask is that you send an e-mail Jim Painter regarding the incident.

While this equipment was purchased out of forfeiture funds for the use primarily by our employees and other government agencies, there may come a time that this privilege may have to come to an end because of these continuing issues. This is a tremendous benefit that we can’t have anyone ruin for us!

Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 28 host annual 50's Flashback Show.

By Lt. Tom Brazil 

On May 8, FOP Lodge 28 held its annual 50's Flashback show at Founders Park in Islamorada. The performers this year were Barbara Lewis and Johnny Tillitson with the warm up band Rocky and the Rollers.

In addition this year the Keys Crusers Antique Car Club attended and held a car show at the event bringing vintage vehicles for display. The Sheriffs Office own Nancy Reidelbach and Julio Alvarez brought their classic Mustang to the event. A good time was had by all in attendance.

The FOP would like to thank the Keys Crusers, Steve Ellers of Time Out Bar-B-Q, Silver Eagle Distributors and all of the members who assisted in making the event a success.

New at the Flashback to the Fifties Show this year: a display of Classic Cars




Art Behind Bars, the art-based community service program for inmates, is pleased to announce that it has successfully initiated a parallel program in partnership with Kershaw Correctional Institution in Kershaw, SC. Executive Director Lynne Vantriglia recently returned from South Carolina, where she conducted a four-day workshop with volunteers and inmates at the medium-security facility. The visit was made possible through a collaboration with Sunshine Smith, who lives part-time in the area and spearheaded the drive to bring in Art Behind Bars.


Over the course of the four days, 21 inmates and 8 volunteers were able to produce 120 Mothers’ Day cards for seniors in eldercare facilities, 42 hand-painted shirts for women and children in local shelters, 18 baby quilts for donation to at-risk infants, and artwork for an upcoming show in Kershaw for which Vantriglia will return. According to her, the inmates were thrilled to have an opportunity to contribute to their community in a positive way. “It was awesome to see it all unfold”, she said. “They were so respectful, and happy for the chance to prove they could make something beautiful and useful for others. In many cases, it is the first time in their lives they have ever done so.”


To facilitate the installation of the program, and in response to similar inquiries from around the country, Vantriglia has co-written a training manual with Dr. Rachel Williams from the University of Iowa, who serves as the program’s outside evaluator. As part of her visit to South Carolina, Lynne made a presentation at the Kershaw County Fine Arts Center in Camden, where more than 20 artists, educators, and mental healthcare professionals heard her describe the therapeutic benefits of giving back to the community through art. Two other prisons in the area are also interested in starting a program.


Now in its tenth year, Art Behind Bars has donated artwork valued at more than $54,000 to 225 different non-profit organizations locally and nationwide. In April, they produced the gallery debut of “Art After Bars” at Kate’s Gallery, showcasing the work of 14 former inmates, all of whom have re-invented themselves through art. Many of the participants were on hand to share their stories of how crossing paths with Art Behind Bars changed their lives. The program is currently looking for a location to house an ongoing “After” program that would incorporate job skills, computer training, and art workshops for former inmates transitioning back into the community, as well as gallery space to display the finished work.


On September 10th, Art Behind Bars will celebrate its “10th Birthday Party Show” at the Pier House Resort and Caribbean Spa. Contributions of money, art supplies, or a space for Art After Bars would be gratefully appreciated and can be made by calling 304-7861, or email to For more information about the program or to view the artwork, visit their website at


The program is sponsored in part by the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, Florida Arts Council, Division of Cultural Affairs, Art in Education, National Endowment of the Arts, Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville, Community Foundation of the Florida Keys, and private donations.


What’s Happening

Congratulations on Citizenship

Congratulations to Maintenance Specialist David Amoako. He received his United States Citizenship on May 11, 2004. A native of Africa, he has been in the United States for eleven years. Employed with the Sheriff's Office for three years. He is the proud father of a little girl and is a wonderful husband and the son-in-law of Corrections Officer Margaret Smith.  Here he is, pictured with Major Tommy Taylor and Sheriff Rick Roth.


New SWAT Vehicle


The Sheriff's Office finally acquired a new SWAT vehicle to replace the one the team now travels in. The new vehicle is said to be much more reliable mechanically, and much more fuel efficient than the old one. That should make SWAT Team Leader Detective Donald Catala happy, as he's tired of being constantly stranded in a broken down vehicle while traveling to and from call outs.


Bowling for Charity

Bowling in the First Annual Big Brothers/Big Sisters Bowl for Sake fund-raiser are from left to right: The Sheriff's Strikers, Dorothy Child, Major Tommy Taylor, Sergeant Frank Mara and Larry Child. The team raised over $600. Larry Child bowled a 257 game and was presented a trophy for high game. Mr. Child was also deemed to be the oldest competitor at the competition and was presented with a dinner coupon for two from Cafe Sole. The event raised over $5,000.00.

The Big Brothers/Big Sisters organization has been serving the children of Monroe County for over 20 years and is always looking for more Big Brothers and Big Sisters as well as other volunteers to make a positive input in a Child of Need's life. For more information about Big Brothers/Big Sisters and how you can become a volunteer, contact Big Brothers/Big Sisters in these locations: Lower Keys - 294-9891; Upper Keys - 393-0386.


According to the Governor's Message dated May 21, 2004 on the State of Florida's web site:

The Governor signed legislation to create a sales tax holiday from July 24th to August 4th that will save Floridians more than $90 million. Shoppers will pay no state or local option tax on most back to school items, including books and clothes costing less than $50.

Also, the sales tax on gasoline will be reduced by 8 cents per gallon during the month of August.


Free admission in the month of June for residents of Monroe County to the following attractions in Key West with proof of residency (driver's license, voter registration, utility bill, or lease):

  • Harry S. Truman Little White House
  • Key West Aquarium
  • Flagler Station Overseas Highway Railway Historium
  • Key West Shipwreck Historium

Special deal from SeaCoast Airlines

SeaCoast Airlines is offering a Summer 2004 Travel Special for KEYSSO employees and their immediate families living in the Florida Keys.

Sheriff’s Office Employees:   Visit family or friends in the Tampa Bay area.  Get a group together and make it a memorable weekend in Tampa Bay.  Need information about accommodations, rental cars, places to go, things to do?  Check our website:  or call Brenda @ SeaCoast Airlines.

Fill our aircraft with 9 passengers!     

  • Depart Friday, June 25 at 10AM (arrive in St. Petersburg/Clearwater Airport at 11:20AM)
  •  Return to Key West on Sunday, June 27 at 2PM (arrive in Key West at 3:20PM)

Total fare per person, round trip:  $111.11 plus tax

 SeaCoast Airlines
St. Petersburg/Clearwater International Airport
14609 Airport Parkway
Clearwater, Fl. 33762
727-507-8582, 813-477-3861, toll free 1-866-302-6278

Spectara Vision Claim Forms available in Public Folders

Spectara Insurance, our Vision insurance carrier, has provided the County with a special form which must be used when employees file for reimbursement of a vision claim. You must first gather all the expenses from your claim (this means if you have a couple of different expenses on different days for the same claim, you should wait until you have them all) and then file the all together. You will not be reimbursed for the entire amount you are entitled to if you send expenses on separate claim forms. You will find the form in Outlook Public Folders, under Office of Public Information - Items of interest. If you have questions about how to fill the form out, contact the County Office of Employee Benefits at 292-4666.