Key West Police Chief Donie Lee wants to intensify efforts to ensure the safety of children in our schools. He will invite key stakeholders to meet next week to explore ways in which law enforcement and the schools can tighten security to keep tragedy from striking. “We need to double down on what we’re doing,” he said. “We need to look at our capabilities, address the challenges, and implement any changes we can. We need to do all that we can do.” Lee hopes to [continue reading…]
The Key West Police Department is warning the community to be wary of a recurring scam in which a caller is identifying himself as a law enforcement officer and directing his victim to pay alleged court costs or fines. On November 30th, the most recent victim was contacted several times by a man identifying himself as a deputy with the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office. The caller told his victim she owed several thousand dollars in court costs, and told her the only way to settle [continue reading…]
The Key West Police Department is kicking off its Safe Streets Motorcycle and Scooter campaign to improve motorcycle and scooter safety across the island. With the help of a $50,000 grant from the Florida Department of Transportation, officers will be stepping up education and enforcement of laws pertaining to motorcycles and to scooters. In 2014, there were a total of 272 motorcycle or scooter crashes, 175 of those with injuries and two were fatal. In 2015 the total number went up to 364 with 270 [continue reading…]
In a continuing effort to serve the community, the Key West Police Department is launching a new online service. The new police-to-citizens portal, or P2C allows the public to access current crime and traffic information, report incidents and stay up to date with urgent bulletins. By clicking on p2c.cityofkeywest-fl.gov, citizens can avail themselves of round the clock service from the Key West Police Department. The site lets you search for public safety incidents and arrests, submit incident reports, obtain copies of crash reports and register a [continue reading…]
A Key West bicyclist who was critically injured on North Roosevelt Blvd Sunday morning has died. John C. Potter, 81, was pedaling across the crosswalk at Key Plaza when the crash occurred. He was flown to Ryder Trauma Center in critical condition. Potter crossed from the Home Depot side of North Roosevelt. As he came through the center island of the crosswalk, a Chevy pickup in the outbound lane slowed and crossed into the crosswalk. Potter’s bicycle struck the truck, driven by Modesto Mendoza Lopez, 52, also [continue reading…]
More than 3,000 students will be returning to schools in the Key West area next Wednesday. Amid the adjustments of the community’s schedule, it is important to always remember the 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 [continue reading…]
Key West Police Chief Donie Lee congratulates Explorer Sabina Islam, who has been recognized by the Florida Police Chiefs Education and Research Foundation with a $1000 college scholarship. In a letter announcing the awarding of the scholarship the foundation’s Executive Director Amy Mercer said that the selection process including an in-depth assessment of Islam’s overall commitment to the community, the Key West Police Department and her Explorer post. Key West Police Explorer Post #2011 is a Key West Police Department sponsored youth organization affiliated with [continue reading…]
The Key West Police Department invites the community to come meet our officers and special units during National Night Out on Tuesday, August 1st from 5:30 until 7:30 at Bayview Park. The KWPD is joining law enforcement and first responding agencies nationwide in this annual event to increase awareness about our work in the community. There will be horses, dogs, special teams and more at this great family event. There will be an exciting array of displays and equipment used by the police, firefighters, and our military partners. [continue reading…]
During an awards ceremony Thursday at the Grand Key Resort, Key West Police Chief Donie Lee named Telecommunicator John Dancho as Civilian Employee of the First Half, 2017. Dancho has served the Key West Police Department in Communications with dedication and professionalism for 19 years. He is part of the critical team that serves as a vital link between the community and the department. During his tenure he has served as shift supervisor and trainer. “Over the years, John has demonstrated unique initiative in research that — [continue reading…]
A 35-year old Key West man previously convicted for shooting an AR-style rifle on Truman Avenue in 2011 was arrested Monday morning. A tip from a concerned citizen led Key West police to the man, who was riding a scooter with an assault rifle, a pistol and two hundred rounds of ammo hidden in a guitar case and a military styled backpack.
Key West Police officers are often called upon to rescue dogs and sometimes kittens, but this week they had a call that could only happen while protecting paradise. Around 5 a.m. Wednesday, a concerned citizen reported seeing a loggerhead turtle laying her eggs on the Bridle Path across the street from Smather’s Beach. When officers arrived, they found the gigantic animal attempting to cross the four-lane South Roosevelt Blvd. and return to the ocean. They immediately set up a perimeter – blocking traffic to ensure [continue reading…]
People all over the nation sleep a little easier at night knowing that law enforcement officers are out there keeping them safe. These officers dedicate their lives protecting and serving their communities so that residents lives are safe and peaceful. Yet, every year some of them make the ultimate sacrifice for the ease and the security the rest of us enjoy. On Friday, May 19th the community will have the opportunity to pay tribute to those brave men and women who have fallen in the [continue reading…]
The Key West Police Athletic League and the Key West Police Department is urging the community to participate in Saturday’s Cops N Kids 5K walk/run starting at 8 a.m. at Horace O Bryant School. Participants can sign up on line at www.themeruns.com or sign up the morning of the event. PAL’s programs are designed to get children involved in sports and in educational programs. It provides a safe place where kids can go after school and on weekends. It encourages teamwork and strong self-esteem. Members [continue reading…]
Key West Police have obtained a warrant for a Miami man who went on a tagging rampage in the Keys last weekend. Sunrise resident Tyler Edward Forgatsch, 23, is suspected for spray painting graffiti on several Old Town buildings on April 29th. A couple out walking downtown on April 29th noticed the smell of spray paint in the air. As they came around the corner of Front and Whitehead streets, they saw a man spray painting a wall. The witness quickly took a picture of [continue reading…]
The Key West Police Department’s Special Investigations Unit has arrested a suspected drug dealer who was operating on the 1000 block of Emma Street. Due to numerous complaints in the area, the detectives, with the assistance of the Monroe County Sheriff Office, conducted an undercover operation in the area. The undercover officer made contact with a subject identified as Samuel Farley on the 1000 block of Emma St. near Truman Ave. and purchased crack cocaine from Farley. As the undercover officer walked away, detectives who [continue reading…]
Key West Police have obtained an arrest warrant for the arrest of Lacy Marie Morris, 32, on charges of DUI manslaughter following the April 8th crash that killed off-duty Delray Beach Police Officer Christine Braswell and critically injured Delray Beach Police Officer Bernenda Marcs. She also faces additional charges of DUI serious bodily injury, DUI property damage and possession of marijuana.
An alleged drug dealer, out on bond after being arrested in October, is back in jail facing further felony charges. Benjamin Lawrence, 31, was facing three felony counts for selling crack cocaine and two other felony charges for using a communication device for drug sales. After Lawrence posted $145,000 in bail, the Key West Police Department’s Special Investigations Unit purchased crack cocaine from Lawrence during an undercover operation.
Police Chief Donie Lee welcomed Phillip Rossborough, of Kennebunk, Maine, to Key West today. The high school student was in town on vacation with his family, and had a special gift to present to the Key West Police Department. Rossborough wove Thin Blue Line wristbands for every Key West Police officer. He started making the bands after the ambush-killing of five police officers in Dallas. Nine other officers were injured in the 2016 incident. Rossborough says that attack and other unrest around the country moved [continue reading…]
The Key West Women’s Club donated box-loads of healing happiness to the Key West Police Department today. Clark and Jean Shannon presented Chief Donie Lee with a slew of teddy bears that will be used by officers to comfort kids in difficult situations. Our sincere thanks to the Key West Women’s Club!
March 29, 2017 This just in from Chief Donie Lee: “Key West Police detectives are investigating the death of a male and female found dead in their apartment on the 900 block of White St. KWPD officers were dispatched to 921 White St. at approx. 9: 16 a.m., after receiving a call from the landlord who discovered the male deceased. Officers entered the apartment and found the deceased male in a room and then entered a separate room and located a deceased female. Detectives are [continue reading…]
This week the Blue Paper received a copy of KWPD’s investigation of the controversial arrest of a homeless man in front of the Key Plaza Publix grocery store on February 4th. The review by the Professional Standards Division resulted in a reprimand of Michael Chaustit, one of the officers involved. At the time, a legitimate story about use of force turned into an intense argument between Trump supporters and liberals on our Facebook page with the ‘blind yelling at the deaf’, about what the police should [continue reading…]
Key West Police Detectives arrested a man wanted in Cobb County Georgia for an assortment of violent crimes. On March 15th, the KPWD Criminal Investigations Unit was informed by the Cobb County Sheriff’s Office that Jamaal Seymour, 37, was possibly in Key West. Seymour was wanted on a number of counts, including aggravated assault with a weapon, false imprisonment, felony strangulation and possession of a firearm by a felon. A “be on the lookout” noted that Seymour should be considered armed and dangerous. Intelligence showed [continue reading…]
by Arnaud and Naja Girard……. A Blue Paper report about the rough arrest of Kristopher Knight in front of Key West’s Publix grocery store last month created quite a stir among our readers. The initial bystander video showed Mr. Knight screaming in pain while Key West police officers were handling him. His hands were already cuffed and his legs had been tied with some sort of leash [a hobble strap]. It was not clear what kind of resistance the short 25-year-old would still have been able to [continue reading…]
Martha K. Huggins, Ph.D…….. Policing democracy is tough. Tasked to ‘protect and serve,’ police carry out their work within a political system that often makes them an instrument of competing political and economic interests. Far too commonly, police take the fall for the irregular, shifting, and highly political expectations of government officials. Case in point ‘management’ of the homeless. “Economic development,” which of course includes building and protecting tourism, has a very specific aesthetic: There should be no visibly homeless people in Key West’s “One [continue reading…]