No major issues to tackle in this December edition of the Rap Sheet. I would just like to send my Holiday wishes to everyone who works here at the Sheriff’s Office, and to anyone else who enjoys reading our newsletter, the Rap Sheet. This past year has been a good one for us, and I trust next year will continue in that vein.
No workplace is ever completely without problems, but I think the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office is, overall, a pleasant place to work. I believe wholeheartedly that we have one of the most professional and progressive law enforcement agencies in the country and we can all take pride in contributing to our reputation for hard work and honesty.
Happy Holidays from all of us in Sector 7! This year has really flown by. Of course, in hindsight, they all do. There has been so much going on this past year, it seems impossible we got it almost all done. Note the qualification of “almost.” At any rate, all of us in Sector 7 want to wish all of you the Merriest Christmas and a Happy New Year!
This past month has seen still more changes in our Sector 7 team. Congratulations go one of our newest members, Deputy Will Schlegelmilch, on his completion of the Field Training Program. Will will do us proud, I’m sure. A hardy welcome back to Deputy Don Dalton who has returned to us after a long and grueling recovery from several surgeries to correct a circulatory problem. Glad you’re back Don. We missed ya.
We sadly say farewell and best wishes to Dep. Jim McGlaughlin who has started his new career with the City of North Miami Beach. Best wishes Jim. Another of our members is working hard a recovering from back problems. Deputy Lisa King has unfortunately had to remain out with this recurring, and painful, problem. We all want to wish her a speedy recovery and return to duty.
Here comes the good news! The bids for our new, spacious, modern sub-station will go out January 13th. That will be the sounding gun for contractors to bid on this huge project. As soon as the bids are all in, the next phase of awarding the bid to the contractors who will break ground can move forward. This will be an extensive project, but at the end, we will have a facility we can all be proud of. Services for our existing sub-station will immediately follow the ribbon cutting on the new one.
On Saturday, Dec 14th, Sector 7 held its first Station Meeting and Picnic at the new Key Largo Community Park. Talk about a hoot! Not only did we get perfect weather, in a beautifully designed and maintained community park, but the food thawed out on time, no one was injured during the hoola-hoop contest, and the goody gift table was nearly cleared off. By the way, the winner of the hoola-hoop contest was Deputy Laura Garcia. She had tough competition from Sgt. Lou Caputo, who dared to stand on a table while performing this complex task, but Laura was clearly the winner. Lou “Swivel Hips” Caputo took second place, and Sgt. Don “Big Tuna” Fanelli pulled a closely contested third. Our Records Supervisor Peggy Bryan and Records Asst. Kathy Hisco also gave the hoop a good twist action, but quit before the judging. Great form guys and gals, and yes, there were photos taken so denial is futile.
We had planned a Flag Football game, but due to the age, physical condition, which was a bit less than the pros you’ve seen on Sunday afternoon, and less than 90 degree weather, a good game of long distance throw and attempt to catch was held instead. There was some real talent for the game display by Det. Sgt. Corey Bryan, Detectives Mark Coleman and Larry O’Neill, and Corey’s son Spencer, but overall, you can’t argue with youth in this arena. Soooooo, Spencer Bryan gets the nod for potential pro football. The rest of you guys have little or no chance at a contract. Not to be a party pooper, I also participated in the football part, I think. I was walking toward the bathroom when Larry O’Neill launched a high spiral straight to me. Unfortunately, he hit me right in the hands so naturally I dropped the ball. My return throw was less than a spiral, short, and far enough from Larry that he looked like a sprinter trying to close the distance. I decided to continue on to the bathroom.
Any gathering such as this is the perfect opportunity to present awards for outstanding performance by certain of our star players. The first award, which was a total conspiracy between Kathy Hisco and me, was the award for “The Most Helpful Person at P.K.” Hands down the winner of this one was our own Peggy Bryan. The applause that followed confirmed how much we all appreciate Peggy’s great attitude and willingness to help anyone and everyone, whenever she can. Thanks Peg for all you do for all of us.
The award for “Best Indoor Marksman” went to Dep. Brooks Bateman for his perfect hit on the bulletin board, in the Squad room, during Roll Call Inspection. “Most Agile Supervisor” recognition went to Sgt. Jerry Leathers for his perfect dodge to avoid the slide from Brooks’ Beretta as if flew across the room; just before the gun went off. The award for “Highest Miles Per Hour Computer Operation,” went to Deputy Greg LaRochelle for his expertise in operating his in-car computer while negotiating a high speed S-turn. Result, Dep. LaRochelle 0, Guardrail 1.
A special thank you goes to Miss Eileen McGuire, Events Coordinator for Holiday Isle, who did so much to make this event go great. From donating the big gas grill, to cooking most of the burgers and dogs, to donating the Hoola-Hoops and goody gifts, and more. Thanks so very much for all your help Eileen. Special thanks go to Mr. Tom Moore, General Manager of Publix, and to Patrick at Winn Dixie for all their help in making this first gathering picnic a huge success. We really appreciate all your help.
Note from Captain Bell-Thomson: And a thank you, also, goes to Bill Moran for organizing this event. Bill left out no details – the food was good, the company was good, and the weather was good! On behalf of both Bill and I, we wish you and your families a great holiday season.
The Plantation Key Substation Gang enjoyed a picnic and Station meeting recently at the new Key Largo Community Park. Above, they are pictured chowing down on great food. Below, a group picture shows their team spirit!
The Hula Hoop contest at the station party got pretty serious….the Captain joined the festivities to show
her skills at this demanding sport. It’s like riding a bike, isn’t it Jenny?
In another get-together, the PK station also had a Holiday luncheon with another round of terrific food.
We recently said goodbye to once Deputy John O'Malley and now Special Agent John O'Malley of the U.S. Customs Service. We wish him all the best in his new career. He will be stationed either here or in Tampa and starts his academy on Jan 06th at F.L.E.T.C.
I would like to wish you all a wonderful holiday and hope that it is a safe one for all.
I am very lucky to be attending the next session of the F.B.I. National Academy, which starts on Jan. 12th at Quantico, Va. While I am looking forward to attending I am not looking forward to the drive up and the winter weather for three months. It will be very hard to be away from family, friends and even work for so long, but in the end it will be all worth while. In my absence Lt. Simpson will be the acting Captain if you need anything as well Sgt. Hull will be the acting Lt. if you need anything. It was a difficult task to select one Sgt. to step in as we have some very good and experienced Sgt.'s to select from. I did not want to rotate the position as I thought that it would be difficult for scheduling as well as for others to know who was in charge and when. I know that things will continue to run smoothly while I am away and wish everyone well while I am gone. See everyone in three months. Take care.
Report from Sectors 4 and 5
By Lt. Larry Kelley
Captain Peryam, I and all of the men and women of the Marathon Substation and Sectors 4 and 5 would like to wish all of you a happy holiday season and we will update you on the comings and goings of our own little island in the sun in the next edition of the Rapsheet.
For now, I want you all to see what you missed by not attending our office luncheon at the KV Station. And those of you that did join us I’m sure you had your fill.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New year to all.
And we had tons of butter to drown them in!!!!!!!!!!
By Captain Ross Thomson
Ho Ho Ho to all the merry Rap Sheet readers ! Best Christmas wishes to all the readers from the many people of the special operations group – see last month’s rap sheet for that list.
I tried to touch on each unit or group that falls under the special operation command for last months report, but as usual I left some components out, so this time I’ll finish.
Our special response teams – dive, SWAT, bomb and hostage negotiators. These groups are some truly dedicated individuals who come together as teams to make a difference in critical moments or cases. Their primary duties are that of patrol or detective or supervisor, but they find and /or create time to maintain themselves and their equipment so that they are continuously prepared for the unexpected. As Captain Kirk might say – “to boldly go where no sane person would”, but the rewards of going far outweigh the safety of never trying. Speaking for most everyone I know – to the members of our special response teams – THANK YOU.
There is a group of people who never get enough recognition and appreciation – Angie, Joanie, Michelle, Deborah and Cathy, the quiet, behind the scenes people who really keep things running so well. I get the best information from them, even as I am dumping more work on them! Thank you.
Another group of people seen but rarely appreciated are the great supervisors that work with us. Chad Scibilia and Don Hiller really were invaluable when I was in Miami for a year, but all of the supervisors picked up the extra work and dealt with the three day wait for an answer to something really important ! Roger, Glenn, Corey, Donnie, Trish, Mike, Bobby, Jennifer and Scott – you’ve done well and will continue to do so. Thanks
To our big boss – the SHERIFF, thank you for all your support. You make working here a pleasure. No external politics, no pressure to do anything but our jobs – and we apply that pressure. Just an idea for you – another four years and you could really get the knack of this job …..
As this year closes, I want to personally thank all those individuals who work with us for making our job much more than a paycheck. It is our chosen profession and the spirit, attitudes and desire to make a difference is a continuous reminder for everyone that we are doing the right things for the right reasons.
I wish each of you and your families a happy and safe holiday season. May your stockings be stuffed with all your hopes and dreams. As the year closes please join me in thanking the man upstairs for keeping each of us safe and alive through the many endeavors we have experienced.
The SWAT Team recently participated in a career day at Sugarloaf School. Deputies Kevin Kopp and Joel Slough are pictured, speaking to a class about what the SWAT team does, the kind of equipment they use, and what is required
of a SWAT team member.
Sheriff’s Office Bloodhound Team goes to Training
By Deputy Manny Cuervo
Sadie and I recently completed a training seminar with the Miami-Dade Police Institute and the National Police Bloodhound Association.
During the forty hour course, we worked directly with the Miami- Dade SWAT unit, utilizing simunitions and learning numerous scenarios in which the hound can be applied in tactical law enforcement applications. This training also involved working side by side with apprehension canines, utilizing the exceptional nose of the hound to track a felony suspect, then deployment of apprehension canine upon successful location of the suspect.
We also conducted extensive trails in the Everglades covering several square miles of swamp and saw grass, with expert instruction from Fla. Dept. of Corrections K-9 handlers. Urban environments such as downtown Miami Lakes also served as training grounds in deployment of the hound. Various legal issues and case law concerning the Bloodhounds were also discussed by legal counsel from Miami-Dade. Canine Sadie was donated to the Sheriff’s Office by the Jimmy Ryce Foundation so that law enforcement agencies in our area would have another exceptional tool to utilize in attempting to locate a lost or missing child, or adult.
The training in criminal tracking and the ability to identify a suspect in a criminal case is an additional testament to the contribution the Bloodhound can make to law enforcement efforts. When it comes down to it, the dog is a tool. While not as ubiquitous as a drug sniffing, or a patrol dog, they're integral members of many police agencies.
Deputy Manny Cuervo and his dog, Sadie (on the right) pictured with a |Bloodhound team from Cooper City, Florida.
Community Relations and Crime Prevention Update
Crooks using Outlook feature to find burglary targets
Community Relations Director Greg Artman has a tip for all of you avid Outlook users. If you use your “Out of Office Assistant” be careful of what you say in your outgoing message when you are going to be gone from the office.
Many people include, in their message, the specific days they will be on vacation or gone for other reasons. Keep in mind that the message goes to everyone who emails you, including spammers and crooks. Apparently, computer literate crooks are using email to find out when people will be on vacation. With just a little internet research, they can find out where you live and burglarize your house while you are gone.
If you have to use the “Out of Office Assistant”, just include a simple, non-specific message like, “I am currently out of my office.” If someone really needs to know when you will return, they can call someone and ask.
The Bureau of Corrections held their first Halloween Potluck on October 31st. Everything went off without a hitch except for some of the weird guests that showed up. Everyone that dared to show up had a lot of fun. Food included eyes of newt, eyeballs, bloody guts, worms in puss sauce, brains, goats eyes and witches brew (mmmm,mmmm,mmmm).
Some of the weird guests that showed up included cat woman (Mae Frances Scaramuzzi), vampire (Towanda Scott), wicked witch (Elaine Lash), escaped convict (Cliff Black), Star Trek officer (Sharon Fain), Juliet (Diane Gomez), flapper (Stephanie Robinson, and Mimi (Mary Cohen).
Some of the guests were having too much of a good time. Director Scott knows how to keep some of her employees in line, however, like Cliff, pictured here being “punished” for his misdeeds.
Christmas On The Farm 2002
By Elaine Woodson
On December 15, 2002, the Sheriff’s Animal Farm hosted the annual Christmas on the Farm celebration.
Christmas on the Farm 2002 was unlike previous year’s celebrations. This year we wanted more community participation, so local schools and churches were invited to perform their talents for the onlookers whilst awaiting Santa Claus and enjoying the farm scenery.
Over 250 people were in attendance and were able to amble from the main stage, where they could catch performances by the Grace Lutheran Children’s Choir, a Nativity play by Big Coppitt Church, the Gerald Adams Juggling Team and Christmas caroling by Chaplain Judy Remley, Sharon Fain and Jacquelyn Williams, or they could wander next to Santa’s Grotto and listen to Gerald Adams Elementary School Steel Band. There was always something going on, although as like every year, it seems the bunny rabbits are always one of the favorites with the small children.
Children of all ages enjoyed hayrides provided by Tammy Clark and the Key West Calvary Unit while waiting for Saint Nick to arrive; and he did, right on time, aboard the hay wagon.
I think Santa even drew the crowds from the bunny pen. All the children who visited Santa were able to receive a gift, thanks to the kind support of Pat Silvers, toys for tots and the detectives at the Key West Police Department that provided most of the gifts.
Thank you to all who participated in and or attended the festivities, especially Deputy Manuel Cuervo who assisted in bringing many squeals of joy and glee to the children of all ages.
The Citizen did a great article on the whole event.
Now we can look forward to Easter On The Farm and hope it will be as much of a success.
Commendations and Awards
Pilot Leland Cranmer was recently awarded the Sheriff’s Medal for his lifesaving actions following a head on boat collision in the upper Keys. Cranmer was the pilot of Trauma Star and was called upon to hover and precisely maneuver as a paramedic was lowered on a hoist to rescue the victims of the crash. In the words of his supervisor, Lt. Mike Pandol, “Their selfless acts of courage and concern for the needs of the victims, goes beyond the normal call of duty.”
Detective Henry Hamilton was recently commended by a Citibank Fraud Investigator for his actions in investigating credit card skimming. He said, in part, “It was Detective Hamilton’s persistence and dedicated investigation of these cases that resulted in the issuance of two warrants for Raul Del Cid for crimes relating to credit card fraud. Detective Hamilton was successful in changing the view of the State Attorney to prosecute cases of credit card fraud associated to skimming cases.”
Sheriff Rick Roth recently received three letters commending Deputy Robert “Bob” Lemmert for his work as a bailiff. Deputy Lemmert is retiring after 19 years working in a courtroom for the Sheriff’s Office. Judge Mark Jones said, in part, “The best way I can describe Deputy Lemmert is to say that he was a professional bailiff in every sense of the word. Bob was always alert and completely focused on courtroom security at all times. On many occasions, as a result of his attentiveness and anticipation, dangerous situations were averted and diffused. In more than one instance, he came to my rescue and placed his own well-being at risk in order to ensure my safety…Thank you for providing me and the Sixteenth Judicial Court with such a wonderful bailiff.”
Captain Joe Mendez, Program Manager of South Florida HIDTA, wrote to Sheriff Rick Roth commending Lt. Patricia Almeda for teaching a Grantsmanship Writing Course to SFHIDTA and the Crime and Drug Demand Reduction Program in November. He said, in part, “…her personal experience on this subject was very useful to the students attending this workshop.”
New entrance for the Sheriff’s Office Supply Room
Access to the MCSO supply room is now available through the new DJJ building. The supply room is located on the top floor (currently 3rd, soon to be 2nd) – take a right off the elevator. This allows access to the supply room without passing through the jail security envelope. The knives, batons, and OC spray are once again located in the supply room, having been moved from the Training Department. Requisitions for these items still require approval by the Training Department. The telephone number is still 293-7362, but extension 111.
Gas Tank protection kit for Ford Crown Vic
There have been a number of police deaths in the United States recently after Crown Victoria gas tanks have exploded in rear end collisions. Ford is now offering special kit which protects the gas tank and keeps it from exploding should you be rear-ended.
These kits are now available at Duncan Ford (294-5126, talk to Jim) and Armstrong Ford (305-242-5112, talk to Hector). All marked units need to go in and any unmarked units if the assigned person has a concern. If you have any questions, please call Johnnie Yongue in Fleet Maintenance, 292-7018
Human Resources Update
Happy Holidays from Human Resources
By HR Assistant Mary Valdez
As the year ends, we want to remind all certified officers that annual physicals and performance evaluations are due the month of hire for each member. Each month we send each member a note to remind them of their physical, we also send the commanders a list of members that physicals are due for the month as well as past due.
Please remember that the physical form must accompany you to the doctor. There are several ways to access the physical form. One way is to download the form from Outlook: just go to Public Folders, All Public Folders, Human Resources, FORMS. If you are unable to download and print from Outlook, you can call Human Resources and we can email you the form. Each member can also stop by Human Resources and pick up the physical form or if you are unable to stop by our office, we can courier the form to you.
To let all new employees know we have four contracted physicians in the Keys, two in Miami, and one in Ft. Lauderdale. If the member wishes to use their own physician, the Sheriff’s office will reimburse the member $75.00.
Members, please remind your supervisor that your annual performance evaluation is due the month of hire.
If anyone has any questions, please feel free to contact the staff at Human Resources.
Training for Women in Law Enforcement
The Miami-Dade Police Department is offering a course for women in law enforcement. “Women in Policing: Meeting the Challenges of Supervision” will be offered March 24-27, 2003 at the Newport Beachside Resort on Sunny Isles Beach. Topics will include: Historical overview of women in policing, sexual harassment in law enforcement, general leadership skills, females and leadership, cracks in the glass ceiling, playing the game, developing successful women, effective communication, risk taking and balancing work and home. For more information, contact Sgt. Marty Bloom at 305-715-5022.