The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office reminds you to be vigilant on the road when school starts

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.

School starts on Thursday, so traffic will be much different.

Sheriff Ramsay said, “During the summer, people get deprogrammed about school zones and kids, when they don’t really see them or deal with it. So we have to reprogram ourselves that come Thursday, we’re going to see a lot of kids that are getting on and off buses, waiting at bus stops, walking right into schools, crossing the highway. We’re going to see a school zones in place with reduced speed limits. So it’s kind of important, just to think ahead, plan ahead. Have a plan, leave a little early if you’re going to be driving to school zones. School buses, we always tell people look, bus stops, it’s getting ready to stop, don’t try to accelerate the blow the bus, just stop. You could strike a child who runs out of nowhere.”

The sheriff’s office gets questions about when people should stop.

Sheriff Ramsay reminded, “So basically what happens is if there’s a median divide, let’s say a curb between the north and south lanes, then the opposite lane can continue to flow. But if there’s no divided highway, it doesn’t matter if it’s 20 lanes, all lanes are required to stop in every single direction if it’s undivided highway. So just be careful. These are young kids excited to come to school and just dart out of nowhere. We’ve got to pay attention to make sure we keep our kids safe and secure.”

National Night Out last week was a great success.

Sheriff Ramsay said, “What a great night it was. I made two of the four just can’t do it all four places. But it is a nice night to get together with our community, spend time, meet, build those relationships, identify needs. We had a lot of kids and adults out there, food, so many partners, between state, local, federal, between fire departments, volunteering, people doing stuff, cooking, more organizations came out to make this a great event. The weather’s nice, it was a little warm, but we had good weather. So it was nice to see the groups out there. I made Islamorada and I made Key Largo. But all four locations reported really nice turnouts. Again, we want to thank our partners who all come together always to make these types of events just the best they can be.”

Mike Stapleford of KeysTalk 96.9/102.5Fm noted, “You continue, as I say all the time, you do a wonderful job of building community relations between the sheriff’s department and the public. I think we have a really nice partnership and one of trust that you have worked very hard to build.”

There are still wildlife violations that MCSO helps with. Just yesterday a man from Miami was arrested for undersized lobster and over the limit lobster.

Another man on Bahia Honda Key Bridge on Sunday had queen conch and undersized lobster as well.

Sheriff Ramsay said, “We got so many other things going on in the sheriff’s office, but we still have to do our part to help every part of law enforcement and our environment. We know this is the primary job of Fish and Wildlife Commission. We want to be a good partner to them. We want to help aid and assist, and we want to protect our community resources, which are so valuable. But we continue to hear about these cases, mostly people from Miami Dade County coming down to take advantage of our community and hurt our environment. We continue to be vigilant and a few good cases. One up there at Bahia Honda Bridge. We saw a guy who looked to be harvesting and then he comes out with a five gallon bucket. He’s walking up with a bucket and when he sees an officer approaching from a distance, he drops the bucket and keeps on walking away from the bucket. When we detained them our friends FWC came to help aid and assist. We did find inside the bucket three live queen conch, which we know are protected species, are not allowed to be taken. We also found lobster undersize, no fishing license, didn’t have a license to harvest anything. So that was a good case to be able to return those animals back to the wildlife and save them and arrest that individual. Upper Keys as well. Person there were 15 lobster, nine of them underside, no fishing license. Again from Miami, we’re able to arrest him. We are pulling resources from other areas, but we have to do everything. We’ve got to be on the water, we’ve got to be on the lands, we’ve got to be dealing with traffic and, we just all have to pull our weight. We keep trying to send a message to these people about the environment, and that you’re more likely to get caught, arrested and prosecuted here in Monroe than other areas on all variety of crimes. I keep pushing my officers to be vigilant. We do bridge checks, water checks, we’ve got marine officers. We’ve got a lot a lot of these cases are being done by regular patrol officers who are stopping by the side of the road where someone is snorkeling by this road shoulder or under the bridge and making really good cases. We love to see the team effort. We have to protect our resources for now and for the future.”

A man from Hallandale, Florida, apparently was fleeing and eluding and found to be in possession of a stolen Glock as well as drugs and other paraphernalia.

Sheriff Ramsay said, “This was Tuesday night, after our National Night Out. One of my sergeants saw this car with no lights, went to do a routine, what we thought was a routine traffic stop. But we always say, there’s never a routine because you never know what it’s going to turn into. Well, we thought we’re stopping someone for no lights. Just tell them hey, buddy, turn your lights on. As we go to stop them, the cars initially pulls over and then when the officer goes approach, takes off and a pursuit starts. We’re back in the neighborhoods and trying to catch his vehicle. At some time during the pursuit, he strikes the curb, blowing out the tire and messing up the drivability factor of the car. This about the 90 mile marker. So opens the door, he bails out and starts running. So it goes from a vehicle pursuit to a foot pursuit. He runs through the Coral Shores High School, goes through the property, jumps the fence, and he winds up getting himself basically cornered back in a mechanic marine area where he really has no place to go. We eventually do arrest him. We bring him back to the car. He’s got no driver’s license, been suspended a couple of times. He’s got drugs in the car, marijuana, some mushrooms. Also in the car is a stolen Glock 19 stolen from Miami Beach. So we wind up arresting him for the stolen weapon, for the drugs, for fleeing eluding, for resisting, for no license. We towed his car. So it was a good case to get him off the streets, he had no insurance, before he hurt or killed somebody and get that stolen gun off the streets, get those drugs off the streets, hold him accountable and send the message to him and his buddies don’t come back here. If you do, you’re going to get in trouble. So it just follows again that the most simple call could turn into the biggest call. So you always have to be on your A game and always have to be thinking what could this be or what could this turn into?”