Let’s check in with Sheriff Rick Ramsay

Monroe County Sheriff Rick Ramsay joined Good Morning Keys on KeysTalk 96.9/102.5FM this morning to talk about what’s been going on in the county.

The Seven-Mile Race worked out well over the weekend.

Sheriff Ramsay said, “We’ve got a really good system in place. It was a safe, orderly event.”

The road actually opened back up at 8:45 a.m.

A lawsuit filed by a former deputy at Monroe County Sheriff’s Department was dropped recently.

Sheriff Ramsay said, “This is sad. You hate to have to fire anybody, but part of my job is firing people that take inappropriate actions or do things wrong.”

In this case, the captain acted in a racially charged manner.

Sheriff Ramsay explained, “Directing a subordinate to act as a white supremacist Neo Nazi to go out and target and pick an African American male up and treat him in a racist manner. When that came to light, I took the appropriate action. I’m not going to validate, condone that type of behavior, even from a high-ranking command staff officer. I took a hard-line stance like I think our citizens would expect. I’m not going to tolerate any type of racist activity. This is not how my agency operates.”

When the captain was fired, she sued the department, alleging she was fired due to her sexual orientation.

Sheriff Ramsay said, “Which was not the case. In fact under my realm, she got accolades and promotions. I treated her well, but she came back and sued me for that claim, which a federal judge found that I did not fire her for anything other than cause, that her claims were invalidated. For me, it was nice to get some closure. You hate to have someone who’s done something wrong, could not accept responsibility for their actions. To this day, believes her actions were appropriate, to act in a racist manner, which is terrible. For the judge to validate my actions were appropriate and to validate that I did nothing wrong and I did not take the inappropriate action, it’s what our system is designed for. I don’t wish her any ill. At the end of the day, she did this to herself, not Rick Ramsay. Rick Ramsay is not going to tolerate this behavior from her or anybody else that works for me.”

Multiple people were charged with unlicensed contracting in the Keys recently.

In a partnership between the Sheriff’s Office, the State Attorney’s Office and the State of Florida, the groups keep an eye out for people who are not licensed but still doing contracting work.

Sheriff Ramsay said, “It’s important that you use licensed contractors so you know someone’s qualified, got the experience, has passed state exams, has some type of insurance, coverage if something goes wrong.”

If an unlicensed contractor does poor work, there’s really no recourse for victims.

Sheriff Ramsay said, “We did identify 11 people all from Miami Dade County who were coming down to the Keys, presenting themselves as licensed contractors to do electrical contracting work and other related work, including plumbing.”

One of the people has been charged two other times for doing this.

Sheriff Ramsay said, “It’s just important to make sure professionals are working on your home and doing the project right, correct so it’s not a hazard for safety.”

A number of drug charges developed from a search of a residence on Thursday. The Sheriff’s Office Special Operations Unit investigated a resident known to deal drugs.

Sheriff Ramsay said, “We did get a search warrant to go inside this house. We went in and identified this house to be full of drugs and drug paraphernalia throughout the house. They weren’t trying to hide it from anybody in the house.”

It was a nice house where the parents had passed away. The house had a lot of drugs inside, including fentanyl.

Sheriff Ramsay said, “We’re always happy to get these drugs from getting on the street and hold these people accountable. These people who sell these drugs, especially fentanyl, do not care about other people’s lives. They have no remorse.”

A man in Marathon was arrested recently after a traffic stop where fentanyl was found in the car.

Sheriff Ramsay said, “Sad case. A 20-year-old male. Just a kid. Just out of high school. I know him. I know his family. Good family. Stopped for a traffic violation. Opened the windows, strong odor of marijuana coming out of the car.”

Because he did not have a medical marijuana card, it gave police probable cause to search the car, where the fentanyl was uncovered.

Sheriff Ramsay said, “A young kid, 20-years-old with fentanyl? That’s a shock. That’s a sad way to see someone that young that’s already possessing and potentially using one of the most deadly drugs out there. Drugs destroy your lives. We see it day and day again.”

Recently someone on a bicycle thought they could outrun officers in Marathon. It resulted in a DUI and fleeing police charges.

Sheriff Ramsay said, “This was a known person that we’ve dealt with in the past. The officers went to try to stop them, on a bicycle, failing to yield. Resulted in a slow-speed chase, a vehicle versus bicycle. These don’t generally end well for the person on the bicycle. It’s kind of hard to outrun a patrol car.”

It is against the law to operate even a bicycle under the influence.

Sheriff Ramsay said, “It goes back to just abiding by the law, you won’t have any problems. It doesn’t matter if you’re in a car or on a bike, if you’re trying to flee from us, if we tell you to stop, you stop. If you don’t, you’re going to go to jail for fleeing and eluding.”

A 54-year-old Big Pine Key man was arrested for pointing a gun at a female.

Sheriff Ramsay said, “The person was arrested for an aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Any time you bring a weapon into an argument, you’re going to be the person that’s at fault, whether you started the argument or not. People think with emotions, not logic. We try to encourage people to stop and think before you speak, stop and think before you act. For every action, there is a reaction and the reaction for law enforcement is going to be to put you in jail if you’re pointing guns at people.”

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