Jan 222016


The Key West Police Department’s end of year report to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement shows overall crime dropped by almost 11 percent in 2015. The most dramatic drop was a reduction in robberies, which dropped by 50 percent over 2014. In 2015 there were 20 robberies, compared to the 40 reported in 2014.

Violent crime dropped by over 20 percent in 2015. Burglaries dropped by nearly 17 percent.

Each year the Key West Police Department reports its crime statistics to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. These statistics are compiled for the entire state by the FDLE in its Uniform Crime Reporting system.

“I’m reassured by this data,” said Police Chief Donie Lee. “It reinforces the fact that Key West is a safe community. But even with these good numbers, we have to continue to reduce opportunities by locking doors and closing windows. I know we can do even better.”

Among other statistics reported:

  • Aggravated assaults dropped by 15.6 percent: 119 in 2015 compared to 141 in 2014.
  • Incidents of rape increased from 15 in 2014 to 18 in 2015.
  • Overall thefts went down by 7.8 percent, and within that, bicycle thefts went down by 12 percent
  • There have been no murders in Key West since the single murder in 2012.

The partnership between the Key West Police Department and the community plays a vital role in preventing crime from happening, and solving crimes when they are committed, says Lee.

 January 22, 2016  Posted by at 12:50 am Issue #150, News, Public Notice No Responses »
Jan 082016
Haley Promoted to Sergeant

Key West Police Chief Donie Lee last night swore in Officer Matt Haley, promoting him to sergeant. Sgt. Haley came to the Key West Police Department in 2004 after working as an investigator for the Florida Department of Children and Families. Prior to that, he served in the U.S. Coast Guard. Over the past decade, […]

 January 8, 2016  Posted by at 12:18 am Issue #148, News, Public Notice No Responses »
Jan 082016
New Officer Sworn In

Key West Police Chief Donie Lee swore this afternoon, swore in the Department’s newest office, Justin Elsmore. Officer Elsmore is a South Florida native who has, for the past eight years, served in the U.S. Air Force.

 January 8, 2016  Posted by at 12:16 am Issue #148, Public Notice No Responses »
Dec 112015
Officer Medina Receives Lifesaving Award

Key West Police Chief Donie Lee presented Officer Gus Medina the department’s Lifesaving Award. In October, Officer Medina responded to a possible drowning call. The caller was in the pool with her unconscious father, holding his head up, but unable to lift him from the water. Upon arrival Officer Medina proceeded through the open doors […]

 December 11, 2015  Posted by at 12:35 am Issue #144, Public Notice No Responses »
Dec 112015
Officers Commended for Saving a Life

Key West Police Chief Donie Lee today presented Officers Curtiss Richardson and Alex Rodriguez with the department’s Lifesaving Award. On September 10th, Officer Richardson responded to a call to find an unconscious woman who was not breathing and had no pulse. Officer Richardson immediately began CPR. Officer Rodriguez arrived on the scene just seconds later […]

 December 11, 2015  Posted by at 12:34 am Issue #144, Public Notice No Responses »
Dec 042015
*UPDATE* Second Suspect Apprehended...  for Robbery, Kidnapping, Battery, Home Invasion and Grand Theft

Dec 4, 2015 3:12 pm: **UPDATE**    Key West Police Detectives have arrested the second suspect — John Paul Walker, Jr. — in this case. Both suspects are charged with robbery, kidnapping, felony battery, home invasion robbery and grand theft. Dec 4, 2015 11:53 pm:  Key West Police Detectives on Thursday arrested one man and […]

 December 4, 2015  Posted by at 12:55 am News No Responses »
Dec 042015
Eimers Death In Custody. Could It Happen Again?

Commentary by Naja and Arnaud Girard……. Two years ago, on Thanksgiving morning, paramedics were called to assist an old man on South Beach. KWPD officers on scene told them that the man had been running away from police on the beach and had suddenly collapsed in the sand and when they got to him he […]

Nov 062015
Timothy Thomas Claims 'Deputies Shot First' [Police Shootout Rained Bullets on Stock Island Family]

by Naja and Arnaud Girard……. [Note:  This article was written and published prior to the Sheriff’s release of the dashcam video.  You will find an update at the end of the article including both Deputy Gordon and Deputy Lariz’ dashcam video excerpts as posted by the MCSO on youtube this morning.] It was about 9:45 pm […]

Nov 062015
Drug Sweep Nabs 27 So Far

Twenty seven local drug dealers have been arrested over the past few weeks as part of a months-long effort by the Key West Police Department. With the assistance of Homeland Security Investigations, the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office and Customs and Border Protection, the KWPD Special Investigations Unit conducted numerous undercover operations that resulted in 41 […]

 November 6, 2015  Posted by at 12:56 am Issue #139, Public Notice 1 Response »
Nov 062015
Chief Commends Officer Richardson

Key West Police Chief Donie Lee on Thursday presented Officer Curtis Richardson with a Chief’s Commendation in recognition of his continuing dedication and professionalism. In the predawn hours of July 22, Officer Richardson was on routine patrol in the 200 block of Truman Avenue when they saw heavy smoke billowing from the rear of a building. […]

 November 6, 2015  Posted by at 12:55 am Issue #139, Public Notice No Responses »
Nov 062015
Chief Commends Officer Kouri

Key West Police Chief Donie Lee Thursday presented Officer David Kouri with a Chief’s Commendation in recognition of his role in the arrest of a dangerous suspect. On Oct 25, local law enforcement located and converged upon a house in Key West where Timothy Thomas, an armed and dangerous suspect, was hiding. He was wanted for […]

 November 6, 2015  Posted by at 12:55 am Issue #139, Public Notice No Responses »
Oct 302015
Returning Officer Sworn In

Key West Police Chief Donie Lee today swore in Officer Antonio Ane. Officer Ane worked for the KWPD from May of 2011 until last December when he left for a brief stint on the mainland. Officer Ane is a native Floridian who grew up in South Dade County. He is a graduate of the Miami […]

 October 30, 2015  Posted by at 12:06 am Issue #138, Public Notice No Responses »
Oct 162015
Man Critically Injured in Shooting

An argument between two long-time friends ended early this morning in a shooting that sent one man to the hospital where he remains in critical condition. Ray Alvarez, Jr., 28, was airlifted to Ryder Trauma Center after being shot with a handgun in the back and in the leg. Key West Police responded to a […]

 October 16, 2015  Posted by at 12:45 am Issue #136, Public Notice 4 Responses »
Oct 092015
Two Officers Honored for 20 Years of Service

At Wednesday night’s City Commission meeting, Key West Police Chief Donie Lee recognized two department members for reaching the 20-year mark in their careers. Lt. Kathleen Ream joined the Key West Police Department in 1995. Her interest in law enforcement began in 1991 when she became an auxiliary officer, which inspired her to attend the police […]

 October 9, 2015  Posted by at 12:16 am Issue #135, Public Notice No Responses »
Oct 022015
KWPD Looking to Sponsor Cadets

The Key West Police Department is looking for motivated candidates who want to become police officers. The Department wants to sponsor the best and the brightest 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 earn a salary […]

 October 2, 2015  Posted by at 12:34 am Issue #134, Public Notice No Responses »
Oct 022015

Key West Commissioner Clayton Lopez is hosting the monthly District VI community meeting at 6 p.m. Thursday, October 8th at the Martin Luther King Community Center at 300 Catherine Street.  This is an important meeting for the community as we discuss the possibility of naming the roads at the Truman Waterfront in honor of members […]

 October 2, 2015  Posted by at 12:33 am Bahama Village, Issue #134 1 Response »
Sep 112015
Life Saving Award

Capt. JR Torres recently presented Detective Karl Malsheimer with a Life Saving Award for his quick actions and response that ended up saving a man’s life. On July 1, 2015, Detective Karl Malsheimer was on duty downtown when he heard a woman scream and saw a man on the ground. After an initial assessment, he […]

 September 11, 2015  Posted by at 12:22 am Issue #131, Public Notice 1 Response »
Sep 112015
Waite Receives Chief's Commendation

Capt. JR Torres last week presented Kenneth JW Waite with a Chief’s Commendation. On June 2, 2015, the Key West Police Department received a report of a robbery. Officer Jeremy Tellier was able to get very a detailed description from a witness. Upon hearing the description, Mr. Waite decided to pull up the live web […]

 September 11, 2015  Posted by at 12:18 am Issue #131, Public Notice 1 Response »
Sep 042015
Police Chief Commends Mentors

Chief Donie Lee has commended the members of the Key West Police Department who volunteer as mentors with Keys to Be the Change – Kids Win: Pathways to Success. Their efforts are helping shape the future of Key West’s youth. With Their guidance, children who might otherwise be at risk, have a better opportunity to […]

 September 4, 2015  Posted by at 12:24 am Issue #130, Public Notice No Responses »
Aug 282015

by Naja and Arnaud Girard……. FDLE reprimanded Special Agent Kathy Smith with a 5-day suspension. Agent Smith was accused of having intentionally signed a false affidavit in order to secure a $461,000 bank loan. Agent Smith became engulfed in controversy in 2014 while leading the investigation of the in-custody-death of 61-year old tourist, Charles Eimers. […]

Aug 282015
Credit Card Fraud Suspects Arrested

Three of four suspects in a large credit card fraud case were taken into custody on Wednesday. Yaisdonis Gomez-Fabelo, 35, Ayami Consuergra-Rojas, 32, and Leidys Soler, 23, all face multiple charges in scheme to defraud Wells Fargo Bank and ten credit card holders. A fourth suspect, Jorge Consuergra-Rojas is still at large. The case began […]

 August 28, 2015  Posted by at 1:57 am Issue #129, Public Notice 2 Responses »
Aug 072015
Hot Cars A Danger to Children and Pets

A good Samaritan this week spotted two dogs left in a hot car and quickly alerted the Key West Police Department. Bicycle Officers Scott Standerwick and Frank Betz arrived and immediately called the Florida Keys SPCA and Arnold’s Towing to rescue the distressed dogs. Luckily, the family of tourists returned, frantic about their pets and […]

 August 7, 2015  Posted by at 12:14 am Issue #126, Public Notice No Responses »
Jul 102015
Officers Sims and Stockton Save a Life

Key West Police Chief Donie Lee this week commended Officers Joe Stockton and Carter Sims with a Life Saving Award for their quick response to a life-threatening incident in February. Officers Stockton and Sims responded to a medical emergency call in which the male subject was not breathing. Both officers immediately began rescue breathing. When […]

 July 10, 2015  Posted by at 12:29 am Issue #122, News No Responses »
Jul 032015
Hostage Standoff on Duval Street: “In typical Key West fashion: 'Nothing' happens in the most spectacular way.” ~ Mike Mongo

  UPDATE Thursday July 2, 3:35 pm by Naja and Arnaud Girard……. The 911 call went something like this: ‘I stabbed my wife. I stabbed her in the chest and the abdomen, both. I have a shotgun. I’m in my room at Duval House and I’m holding my 13-year old niece hostage.’ KWPD went running, […]

Jul 032015
KWFD Reminder: Be Safe!

The Key West Fire Department is reminding everyone to use extra safety precautions as we go into the Fourth of July holiday. That means stay away from any kind of home fireworks and, instead, enjoy the public display off White Street Pier. “Remember, if it explodes or if it flies, it’s illegal,” said Key West […]

 July 3, 2015  Posted by at 12:06 am Issue #121, Public Notice No Responses »
Jun 122015
FDLE Special Agent and Ex-Husband former KWPD Captain Saved By Statute of Limitations

by Naja and Arnaud Girard…… A long awaited investigative report on a scandal that greatly tarnished both FDLE’s and KWPD’s image in the community is finally complete. FDLE Special Agent Kathy Smith and her ex-husband, former KWPD Captain Scott Smith, could have been prosecuted for the criminal acts of perjury and mortgage fraud in connection […]

May 012015
GUEST COLUMN: Black in Key West (or anywhere in America)

by Kenneth Sullivan… In this age of tweet, Instagram and sound bites, we have learned to shorten our opinions to a limited number of characters. This means we do not give complete thoughts in our public opinions. I read in the Citizen a comment that inferred the black folks are inherently bad people. This is […]

Apr 032015
Dog Lady is Free! Ocean Key Investigated...

by JD Adler… In February Ocean Key Hotel, subsidiary of the Nobel House corporation, held a for-profit concert on Sunset Pier during which the band, the Revivalists, invited local citizen Kelsey Haas and her dog Mali onto the stage to dance with them. Police, at the request of hotel management, removed and arrested Ms. Haas […]

 April 3, 2015  Posted by at 3:55 am * Featured Story *, Issue #108, JD Adler, Uncategorized 14 Responses »
Mar 202015
Randall Smith promoted to Sgt. of KWPD

Key West Police Chief Donie Lee swore in the newly-promoted Sgt. Randall Smith during Tuesday’s City Commission meeting. Sgt. Smith has served with the Key West Police Department since 2005. Before coming to the Department, Sgt. Smith worked as an insurance fraud investigator. He is the son of a retired Coral Springs Police Department sergeant. In […]

 March 20, 2015  Posted by at 2:15 am Issue #106, Public Notice No Responses »
Feb 272015
KWPD Snatch Purse Snatcher

Lights, Camera, Snatch! Press Release from KWPD: A missing front light on a bike resulted in the arrest of a man suspected of several purse snatchings. Michael Joseph Soraghan, Jr., 45, was apprehended during a traffic stop when an officer saw him riding with no light. The officer immediately recognized the suspect from a surveillance […]

 February 27, 2015  Posted by at 1:24 am Issue #103, Public Notice 2 Responses »
Feb 272015
KWPD Adds 2 New Officers to Ranks

Chief Donie Lee swore in two new Key West Police officers this week. Chris Rhinhart (left) has over 10 years of experience as a law enforcement officer, including time with the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office. Daniel Blanco (right) is new to police work, but not to helping out in the community. He has a Bachelor’s […]

 February 27, 2015  Posted by at 12:30 am Issue #103, Public Notice No Responses »
Feb 192015
Anonymous Tip Leads Police To Stash of Stolen Goods on Wisteria Island

Key West Police were back and forth all day Tuesday to Wisteria Island, retrieving tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of stolen goods. With the help of an anonymous tip, Key West Police Detectives recovered stolen fishing gear, electronics, sails, coolers, grills, dive gear and more from the offshore island. The recovered property has been […]

 February 19, 2015  Posted by at 11:28 pm Issue #102, News No Responses »
Feb 062015
Underwriting Key West’s Police Brutality

by Martha K. Huggins, Ph.D.* Tulane University Emerita…………. The Key West Citizen wrote on January 30—after The Blue Paper had broken this news many hours before—that a $900,000 settlement had been “hammered out” in the Charles Eimers’ wrongful death suit against the City of Key West. Key West’s Police Chief Donie Lee finds the payout […]

 February 6, 2015  Posted by at 1:05 am * Featured Story *, Issue #100, MOST POPULAR ONE 22 Responses »
Jan 232015
Eimers Case: Accusations of Perjury and Destruction of Evidence Could Land Default Judgment In Favor of Eimers Family

by Naja and Arnaud Girard [SEE VIDEO DEPOSITIONS BELOW] Attorneys in the federal wrongful death case filed by the Eimers family against KWPD officers and the City of Key West were heard for the first time before Magistrate Judge Jonathan Goodman on Plaintiffs’ Motion For Sanctions. In their motion the family accuses Defendants of perjury and destruction […]

 January 23, 2015  Posted by at 1:30 am * Featured Story *, Issue #98 15 Responses »
Jan 022015
Medical Examiner Admits He May Have Been Misled by FDLE’s Agent Kathy Smith / Key West Marches For Police Accountability

by Naja and Arnaud Girard By the final days of 2014, the in-custody death of Charles Eimers had left many Key Westers with an uneasy feeling. “It’s as though every agency we rely on,” said community advocate Christine Russel, “failed, one after the other, to shed any light on what happened. Instead, the cloud over […]

Dec 192014

by Naja Girard… UNANIMOUS!  REQUEST FOR DOJ TO STEP IN ON EIMERS CASE / BOARD WILL PROBE DEEPER INTO TASING OF MATTHEW SHAUN MURPHY “Garbage in. Garbage out.” That’s how Tom Milone, Vice-Chairman of the Citizen Review Board [CRB], described the concept of the Board relying on  investigative reports furnished by KWPD, FDLE, and SAO [State Attorney’s Office] when it […]

 December 19, 2014  Posted by at 12:55 am * Featured Story *, Charles Eimers, Issue #93 16 Responses »
Dec 122014
Internal Affairs: Officer Gets 5 Day Suspension For "Lying" About Killing Charles Eimers

by Naja and Arnaud Girard KWPD Chief Donie Lee published the department’s Internal Affairs review of Charles Eimers’ in-custody death on Monday. Officers were found to have acted professionally while using techniques that are proper for “actively resisting subjects.” “I thought denial was a river in Egypt. Now we learn it is an island at the […]

Dec 122014
Officer Lovette’s Taser Recording Undergoes Enhanced Forensic Scrutiny / New Admissions Detected Regarding the Alleged Tasing of Charles Eimers

[responsive_youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N9TW7j4XOVs] by Arnaud and Naja Girard… According to KWPD there was no Taser fired during the fatal arrest of Charles Eimers on Thanksgiving Day of last year. But after a few months of forensic clean-up and enhancement by the Eimers family’s legal team, Officer Lovette’s infamous taser recording speaks again and it’s not pretty: Officer […]

Dec 052014
Eimers Grand Jury Investigation: FBI Helped State Attorney Booby Trap Her Own Case

VIDEO: KEY WEST’S LACK OF EMPATHY  IN STARK CONTRAST WITH NY AND FERGUSON by Naja and Arnaud Girard FBI HELPED STATE ATTORNEY BOOBY TRAP HER OWN CASE “It’s a very painful day for so many New Yorkers,” said New York City’s Mayor, Bill de Blasio last Wednesday following the Grand Jury’s decision not to indict […]

 December 5, 2014  Posted by at 12:00 am * Featured Story *, Charles Eimers No Responses »
Nov 282014
DEATH IN PARADISE:  Charles Eimers Memorial, A Year Later

CANDLELIGHT VIGIL ON SOUTH BEACH FOR CHARLES EIMERS A hundred or so Key Westers gathered on Thanksgiving night on South Beach for the anniversary of Charles Eimers’ death. Tourist for a day, Mr. Eimers met with a controversial death on November 28th of last year within 24 hours of his arrival in Key West. “I […]

 November 28, 2014  Posted by at 12:00 am * Featured Story *, Charles Eimers No Responses »
Nov 222014
NOWHERE TO RUN: New Video Devastating to KWPD Credibility

by Naja and Arnaud Girard A wrecking ball crashed through the City’s defense to the Eimers police brutality case on Friday.  At a scheduled deposition Chief Lee was expected to provide bureaucratic information about the City’s procedures and policies in the wrongful death case filed by the Eimers family against the City of Key West […]

 November 22, 2014  Posted by at 12:00 am * Featured Story *, Charles Eimers No Responses »
Nov 212014
Kathy Smith, FDLE's Lead Investigator in the Eimers Investigation Put on Administrative Leave

by Naja and Arnaud Girard…. FDLE Special Agent Kathy Smith was escorted out of her Marathon office on Wednesday.  She has reportedly been put on paid administrative leave pending investigation of mortgage fraud. The Blue Paper reported last week that Agent Kathy Smith and her ex-husband Scott Smith [at the time a Police Captain employed […]

 November 21, 2014  Posted by at 12:00 am * Featured Story *, Charles Eimers No Responses »
Nov 072014
CHARLES EIMERS UPDATE: Police, Death, and Missing Videotape

No trial yet, but the weeklong depositions of Key West police officers involved in the in-custody death of Charles Eimers were filled with eye-popping revelations and admissions about possible excessive force and cover-up.  Officers had to admit that only one of the long-awaited 9 [or so] police cruiser dashcam external microphone recordings is available, multiple […]

 November 7, 2014  Posted by at 12:00 am * Featured Story *, Charles Eimers No Responses »
Sep 192014

by Dennis Reeves Cooper….. By now, you have probably read in the daily paper or heard on the radio that the City of Key West has agreed to pay former Key West cop Matt Klosowski $ 287,500 to settle a six-year-old whistle-blower lawsuit. But you probably don’t know the rest of the story. The real […]

Sep 122014

By Dennis Reeves Cooper……. Apparently, enough is enough. Use of  excessive force by police officers, that is– real or imagined. More and more police departments across the nation are equipping officers with body cameras that can record both audio and video. The increasing use of this new technology has two goals: (1) Help try to […]