Let’s check in with Sheriff Rick Ramsay

Sheriff Rick Ramsay of Monroe County joined Good Morning Keys on KeysTalk 96.9/102.5 FM this morning to talk about issues facing the county.

Sheriff Ramsay said, “We’re focused on quality of life. We’re focused on preventing crime and if it happens, let’s solve it, no matter what the crime is. Some other agencies are just so inundated, so swamped. Up in Miami-Dade County, you call for a police officer, unless it’s a major crime, you’re not going to get an officer to show up. You’re going to get a community service aide, or they’re going to take a report over the phone and tell you to call an insurance company. They’re just overwhelmed and they probably have a different philosophy than Rick Ramsay. Rick Ramsay’s philosophy is customer service, quality of life and we’re not going to tolerate this crap.”

A woman from Aventura, FL, was arrested for DUI and child neglect along the 60-mile marker just after 9 p.m. recently. Monroe County deputies were behind a red Honda driving extremely slowly and swerving into oncoming lanes.

Deputies got the car stopped and the 36-year-old Aventura female was behind the wheel. A 6-year-old child was sleeping on the front seat. The woman appeared to be extremely intoxicated. When she got out of the car, she was quite combative — pulling, resisting and spitting at officers.

She failed a sobriety test, but continued to be aggressive to the point where once she’s in the back of the patrol car, she kicked out the cage and tried to the destroy the back of the car.

Officers contacted the Department of Children and Families for the child in the front seat.

By the time the woman got to the jail, she’s continuing to kick officers. A Breathalyzer test revealed that the woman’s blood alcohol content was .24. In Florida, the legal limit is .08.

Sheriff Ramsay said, “So she’s three times the legal limit of intoxication.”

She was charged with DUI, child neglect, resisting arrest, battering on a law enforcement officer, criminal mischief, the damage to the patrol car.

Sheriff Ramsay said, “So it’s just a sad case that she’d endanger the life of her child and other people driving at that extreme intoxicated level. So we’re glad that we got her off the street before someone got hurt. It’s just a difficult job being a police officer that you’re out with a woman and a child and you’re getting spit on and kicked and thrashed about.”

A domestic incident occurred at the Playa Largo Resort in Key Largo where a woman from Lake Worth Beach argued with her husband and has been charged with aggravated battery, aggravated assault, deadly weapon, battery and tampering with evidence.

The 60-year-old woman was on vacation with her husband, a 58-year-old male, and she was drinking heavily at the same time she was on controlled painkillers.

Sheriff Ramsay said, “She’s extremely intoxicated mixing with pharmaceutical drugs. She gets into a domestic argument with her husband and it quickly turns violent where she’s attacking him.”

She went after him with a steak knife and stabbed him in the arm. By the time police and fire services got there, she was cleaning up the crime scene, but and investigation discovered she was the one who caused the bloodshed.

Sheriff Ramsay said, “You never know what you’re coming up to whether it’s a traffic stop with a violent women or a domestic where someone just got done stabbing somebody. These are dangerous jobs our people have to do each and every day. As safe as the Keys are, crime does occur everywhere in America.”

Fentanyl is also increasing issue in Florida.

Sheriff Ramsay said, “We continue to see fentanyl popping up more and more. We know so much of the fentanyl is coming across the southwest border. It’s coming in from Mexico into the United States by the droves. We keep seeing the migration and the migration is seriously hammering the ability for authorities to stop the flow of illegal narcotics from the Mexican border to the US and that’s what a lot of these drug dealers are capitalizing on right now is that the border patrol is swamped 100 percent dealing with migrants that you can just walk these drugs through. Every community in America, including the Keys and Key West, are experiencing an influx of fentanyl. We’re also finding that people are lacing drugs with fentanyl trying to get the ultimate high.”

Drug dealers look to make their product the best in terms of the high so they can get return customers.

Sheriff Ramsay said, “Most people who use drugs have a variety of drug dealers they can call because drug dealers are in jail a lot or die, so they have a bunch of different people. But they want to make sure that if they’re not in jail, you’re going to call them, so they’re lacing this fentanyl and they have no idea. They’re not chemists. Half the time they’re high on drugs themselves.”

As a result, overdoses are on the rise and people doing drugs they don’t even know are laced with fentanyl.

Sheriff Ramsay said, “This isn’t going to get better any time soon as long as that southwest border’s opened up like it is. We’re going to see just a swamp amount of drugs coming across.”

Sheriff Ramsay is grateful for all the organizations that partner with his officers, including Key West Police Department and the Guidance Care Center.

Another issue the Monroe County Officers face is having to provide NARCAN for overdose patients.

Sheriff Ramsay said, “A week and a half ago, we had someone we NARCANed, had to do CPR, NARCANed again, a second round of CPR, got him up around talking. He was on vacation, a 25-year-old male and his friend said this was the seventh time they’ve had to NARCAN and bring him back from overdosing. A lot of drug users become so accustomed to NARCAN’s there to save their lives, that they’re not worried about overdosing. Isn’t that crazy?”