It may sound strange, but candy safety is an important consideration at the upcoming Holiday Parade. The parade begins at 7 p.m. Saturday, and as is the annual tradition, many of the entrants will be tossing candy to the kids that line the parade route. The City of Key West wants to remind parents to keep their children out of the streets and let the candy come to them. Anxious little ones tend to move into the parade route looking for goodies, so parents need [continue reading…]
by Arnaud and Naja Girard……. A Hillsborough County firefighter and active member of the Outlaw motorcycle gang has been identified as one of the assailants in a bar room brawl that occurred during the annual Poker Run in Key West in September. Clinton Neal Walker, 33, was captured on surveillance video at Rumors Lounge on September 27th punching a man repeatedly in the face. Law enforcement agencies had been forewarned that members of the Outlaw motorcycle gang would be coming to Key West during the [continue reading…]
The Key West Police Department is looking for motivated candidates who want to become police officers. The police department is looking to sponsor several academy recruits in the upcoming session of the Law Enforcement Academy at the Florida Keys Community College Institute of Criminal Justice. These sponsorships are a rare opportunity to be hired by the Key West Police Department and earn a salary while working toward becoming a sworn officer. In addition, these academy recruits will not have to worry about tuition, uniforms, fees, [continue reading…]
A homeless man was taken into custody shortly after robbing the Whitehead branch of Centennial Bank on Tuesday. Stephen Daniel, 36, is being charged with robbery and falsely reporting an explosive device. Key West Police received a report of the robbery at 12:32 on Tuesday afternoon. According to witnesses, Daniel walked into the bank, demanded money and told the teller he had a bomb in his backpack. Witness say after the robbery Daniel left the bank and went over to a nearby bar for a drink. He paid [continue reading…]
Key West’s biggest party of the year is right around the corner. While you’re busy putting the finishing touches on your costume, it’s good to remember a few crucial pointers. Public nudity: is absolutely prohibited in Key West. Male and female genitalia must not be exposed. Female breasts cannot be exposed. Breasts painted with body paint will only be considered as covered when in the Fantasy Zone. Body paint cannot be applied in public; it must be applied in an enclosed area, out of the [continue reading…]
Do you have expired or unwanted medications? The Key West Police Department, in conjunction with the DEA will participate in a Prescription Drug Take Back to get these prescriptions safely out of your home. On Saturday, October 22nd from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. you can bring these unwanted medications to the Key West Police Department at 1604 North Roosevelt Blvd. for safe disposal. Officers will be stationed in the front lobby to accept the medications free of charge with no questions asked. This is [continue reading…]
Key West Police Lt. Areaka Jewell and Officer Steve Torrence last night presented the entire City Commission and City Manager Jim Scholl with special pink badges in honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Officer Torrence gave a special shout out to Historic Tours of America and Island Dental for sponsoring this awareness campaign. He also thanked all of the officers who are not only wearing the badge in support of the campaign, but have donated to the cause. All of the money raised in [continue reading…]
It looks as though Key West is not immune to viral trends, including clown sightings. The Key West Police Department wants to warn students and parents that the current trend of clown sightings can be disturbing and disruptive. Across the country, social media and the press have been reporting a trend of alleged sightings of people being dressed up as clowns and often behaving menacingly. There are reports of clowns hovering at the edge of wooded areas and clowns walking around with knives or machetes. [continue reading…]
The Key West Police Department has teamed up with Historic Tours of America to promote breast cancer awareness. For the month of October, officers will be wearing pink badges to promote breast cancer awareness! Chief Lee and the rest of the Department turned out yesterday to give a big shout out to HTA’s CFO Ben McPherson, Account Executive and cancer Survivor Justyna Janicka, and Operations Manager Gary McDonnell!
The Veterans of Veterans of Foreign Wars yesterday bestowed a certificate of appreciation on Officer Tom Clark in grateful recognition of his maintaining the highest standards of law enforcement to protect and maintain the lawful rights of all citizens. Officer Clark started with the Key West Police Department in April of 2012. He serves as one of four quality of life officers, addressing vagrancy in the city. He was named Officer of the Year of 2015 and received the Gallantry Award for the bravely he [continue reading…]
Key West Police Chief Donie Lee today presented Megan Wilcox with a Chief’s Commendation. “You went above and beyond the line of duty,” he said, “by going the extra mile to secure ammunition for training.” Wilcox, who runs the Department’s property and evidence unit, recently contacted the owner of eleven cases of 12-gauge ammunition that was collected as a found property in a local hotel. The out-of-town owner of the ammunition sought alternatives for retrieving her property. However, Wilcox recognized that the Department could use [continue reading…]
The Key West Police Department, in conjunction with other law enforcement agencies, will be conducting a DUI check point on Saturday, September 3rd from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. The checkpoint will occur at Garrison Bight Marina, 1801 North Roosevelt Boulevard, in the city of Key West. During the checkpoint, law enforcement officers from several agencies will be checking for impaired drivers, equipment violations and other infractions. Officers will also check to be sure that drivers have a current driver’s license, registration and proof of [continue reading…]
On his last full day with the Key West Police Department, Chief Donie Lee named Officer Gary Celcer the Officer of the First Half for 2016. Officer Celcer started with the Key West Police Department in July of 2003. During his 13 years with the Department he has received several commendations, including the Lifesaving Award, as well as praise from the community. He has served as a member of the K9 Unit with the Department’s only bomb sniffing dog. He has served with patrol and [continue reading…]
Key West Police Chief Donie Lee presented the Dive Team with a Unit Award for their quick actions that saved a man’s life earlier this month. Sgts. Jeff Williamson and Randy Smith, Officers Michael Malgrat, Jesse Young, Michael Chaustit and Detective Stephen Mitchell, and Officers Jesse Young and Michael Chaustit and Detective Stephen Mitchell were recognized for their response to boaters in distress. The team was out training on August 17th, when they heard a distress call for a medical emergency. The U.S. Coast Guard [continue reading…]
On March 21st a call came in that three people had been shot on lower Duval Street. All officers in the vicinity — including Monroe County Sheriff’s Deputy David Lariz – responded immediately. Within minutes, officers surrounded the armed suspect and placed him into custody. In the meantime, other officers were treating the wounded victims, preserving multiple crime scenes and providing crowd control. The Chief’s Commendation Award was presented last week during an awards ceremony at the Grand Key Resort.
Chief Donie Lee last night presented six law enforcement officers with the highest honor bestowed by the Key West Police Department: the Valor Award. Key West Police Officers Alex Gaufillet, Frank Betz, Brian Leahy, Curtiss Richardson and Jessie Hammers and Monroe County Sheriff’s Deputy David Lariz all put their lives at risk in order to protect the community during a shooting on Duval Street. A call came in on March 21st that an armed suspect had shot three people on the street. Within minutes, officers [continue reading…]
This week Key West Police Chief Donie Lee presented Sgt. Jeff Williamson, Detective Stephen Mitchell, and Officers Jesse Young and Michael Chaustit the Lifesaving Award for reviving a man overcome with fumes aboard a stranded boat last week. While conducting training on August 17th, the Key West Police Underwater Search and Recovery Team (USRT) heard a call come over VHF channel 16 advising there was a vessel with a male having a medical emergency. The U.S. Coast Guard was receiving limited information, but the USRT [continue reading…]
While conducting training yesterday, the Key West Police Underwater Search and Recovery Team (USRT) heard a call come over VHF channel 16 advising there was a vessel near Fort Zachary Taylor with a male having a medical emergency. The emergency was described as either a heart attack or seizure. The Coast Guard was receiving limited information as the woman on board did not know how to use a VHF and her cellphone had sporadic service. They were able to ascertain she was somewhere off the [continue reading…]
The Key West Police Department’s Bicycle Unit has updated its fleet, thanks to a federal grant. The six new iForce bicycles are specifically designed for law enforcement, and are outfitted with lights and sirens. The bikes were paid for entirely with federal grant funding. The Key West Police Department’s Bicycle Unit is an essential part of the Department’s commitment to its community policing initiative. When you see our bike officers patrolling the streets, make sure to say hello and check out their new rides.
More than 3,000 students returned to schools in the Key West area last Wednesday. Amid the commotion of the season, it is important to always remember our number one back-to-school priority: keeping kids safe. As we start a new school year, patience is the most important thing that every motorist can bring to the table. It’s worth allowing a little more time to get around to be sure that all Key West kids are safe on their way to and from school. Here are some child [continue reading…]
Miami – The FBI and Key West Police Department have been hosting a series of conferences this week of August 8th to address responses to active shooter scenarios. The conferences discuss best practices and lessons learned from various active shooter incident responses. Monday’s class was entitled Civilian Response to Active Shooter Events or CRASE. The course is designed to reinforce the Avoid, Deny and Defend strategy and provides information about surviving an active shooter event. The four hour course is attended by Monroe County School District officials, hospital [continue reading…]
The Key West Police Athletic League and the Key West Police Department are hosting a Back to School Summer Jammy Jam from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Saturday, August 13th at Nelson English Park. This free family event is a chance for kids to enjoy hot dogs and burgers, sno-cones and bounce houses. There will be free back-to-school supplies bike helmets and lights There will even be a bike raffle. And parents will appreciate the free haircuts! Come end your kids’ summer with a [continue reading…]
The Key West Police Special Investigations Unit, following up on several citations for selling alcohol to minors, found most of the bars in compliance last week. In June four local bar employees received notices to appear for selling alcohol to minors during a two-day alcohol compliance check operation. Don’s Place Liquor Store, Old Town Wine and Spirits (Bare Assets), and Conch Town Liquor were all found to be in compliance with the law. However, Samantha Romeo, an employee at Shorty’s Market was cited for selling [continue reading…]
Lieutenants Areaka Jewell and Joe Tripp completed the Southern Police Institute’s Command Officer Development course in Ft. Lauderdale. This challenging ten week course better prepares upper level managers for practical law enforcement management. The Key West Police Department is continuously improving through training and seeking improved ways to protect and serve. This course provides improved skills for enhanced communication within the Department. It hones the officers’ skills for better management practices, enabling them to make the Department more efficient and effective. Capt. Sean Brandenburg and [continue reading…]
by Arnaud and Naja Girard……. This week The Blue Paper received a copy of the FBI’s investigative report on the in-custody-death of Charles Eimers. About a year and a half ago Key West’s Citizen Review Board (CRB) wrote to the Department of Justice asking for an independent review of a drama that shook the town. On the morning of his first day on our island paradise, 61-year-old tourist/homeless person, Charles Eimers, died in police custody. Initially it was reported by KWPD that on Thanksgiving morning an [continue reading…]
A four-vehicle crash Tuesday night on North Roosevelt Blvd. injured three people, one critically. At a little after 9 p.m. a vehicle with three occupants was waiting to make a left turn into McDonald’s. The car was struck from the rear and pushed into the oncoming traffic. Two other vehicles, headed outbound, crashed into the melee. The victims of the rear-ended vehicle – two females and one male – are visiting from Virginia. All three were transported to Lower Keys Medical Center. One woman was [continue reading…]
The Sheriff’s Office Special Weapons and Tactics team and the Key West Police Special Response Team recently gave a presentation at the Key West Mystery Writer’s Festival. They spoke about the role of SWAT and SRT teams in law enforcement and gave a presentation with some of the equipment they use on their operations. SWAT Leader Sgt. Joel Slough and SWAT member Sgt. David Smith participated in the presentation along with KWPD SRT Member Officer Michael Pettee. In the photos, left to right, Sgt.s Slough [continue reading…]
The Key West Police Special Investigations Unit cited four local bar employees for selling alcohol to minors during a two-day alcohol compliance check operation conducted this week. Notices to appear were issued to Keegan Hungerford at Don’s Place Liquor Store, Anthony Niles at Old Town Wine and Spirits (Bare Assets), Michelle Park at Conch Town Liquor, and Renae Francis at Shorty’s Market. Eleven other businesses were found to be in compliance. Detectives conduct these undercover checks periodically to ensure that purveyors of alcohol comply with [continue reading…]
Key West Police Chief Donie Lee recently presented Lt. Alfredo Vazquez a plaque in recognition of his 25 years of service to the Key West Police Department. Lt. Vazquez oversees the Criminal Investigations Unit. During his 25 years of service, Lt Vazquez has served with professionalism dedication and commitment.
Key West Police Chief Donie Lee today presented Officer Robert “Bull” Bulnes a plaque in recognition of his 22 years of service to the Key West Police Department. Officer Bulnes is a patrol officer and has served as a school resource officer. Chief Lee thanked him for his dedication to the community.
The Sheriff’s Office began using body worn cameras on Monday. Most uniformed deputies will be required to wear the cameras as a routine part of their uniform. All members who will be using the cameras completed their training last week. The Sheriff’s policy requires they be worn by road patrol deputies and sergeants, school resource deputies, civil deputies, traffic deputies, airport deputies and sergeants and detectives when they are in uniform. Detectives may also wear them when in plain clothes.
Key West Police Chief Donie Lee and City Manager Jim Scholl today met with engineers from FDOT to discuss ongoing concerns regarding the pedestrian crosswalks on North Roosevelt Blvd. Since their installation, there has been a lot of community concern that the current configurations are dangerous. After four hours of discussion and visiting each of the crosswalks, the FDOT officials agreed to consider whether all of them are warranted. In addition, they will consider the installation of pedestrian activated control devices that will improve safety.
Chief Donie Lee today presented three Key West Police officers with the Lifesaving Award for saving the life of a drowning man. On April 21st Officers David Kouri, Michael Pettee and Billy Vazquez responded to a drowning call on North Roosevelt Blvd. Officer Kouri was first on the scene and saw the victim, a 58 year old man, unconscious and floating almost completely submerged in the water. Officer Kouri jumped off the sea wall and into the water and immediately repositioned the victim’s head, opened [continue reading…]
Key West Police Chief Donie Lee and School Resource Officer Deglys Chavarria presented Key West High School teacher Monica Fletchall a check for $2500 for Operation Graduation yesterday. This outstanding program provides an all-night get together of fun. It keeps our grads safe and drug and alcohol free while they dance, eat, watch movies and win great prizes.
The City Commission last Tuesday night issued a grateful commendation to the professional men and women who responded to the recent shooting on Duval Street. Key West Police officers, detectives and dispatchers, the Key West Fire and Rescue, a Monroe County Sheriff’s Deputy and a civilian on the street were all named for their roles in the quick response to the incident. On March 21, 2016, three innocent bystanders were shot and wounded in the early morning hours on lower Duval Street, an event which [continue reading…]
New charges have been filed in the Duval Street shooting case and prosecutors want to put him back behind bars now — this time without bail. Derek Michael David, 34, was released on bail following a March 21st shooting that wounded three people. The shooting happened at about 1:25 a.m. in the area of Rick’s Bar. Surveillance video from the bar reportedly shows David at one point dragging a woman [his wife] down Charles Street and knocking her to the ground. Two men are seen running over [continue reading…]
by Martha K. Huggins, Ph.D……… Living and conducting research in Brazil over a number of years during its 21-year military dictatorship taught me the importance of police accountability. Sometimes when police showed up at a residence they were following government orders; sometimes they were acting alone. In either case their objective was to scare people into submission, by merely paying an unannounced visit, or by trashing a family’s possessions, or through violence against them. The victims of such police over-reach had absolutely no recourse: very [continue reading…]