Whether it’s holiday celebrations or shark bites, the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department is there to help

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 100-mile run went off quite well over the weekend.

Sheriff Ramsay said, “Nobody got hurt. Nobody got injured. I had no reports of major traffic congestion as a result of the run. That’s good. That’s our goal and I think we were successful.”

The 200th anniversary celebration of Monroe County held on the Seven-Mile Bridge over the weekend.

Sheriff Ramsay said, “We had so many people there and it was very difficult because there’s not much parking, so a lot of parking had to be offsite and brought in by the trolley or other means. Our goal was to make sure traffic on US 1 flowed, make sure that we were safe and secure for the event, make sure we were able to control the parking issues. That’s a tough event because the location is so tight, so small and coming off that bridge, there’s a lot of potential. It was a great turnout. I saw so many of our county and city leaders out there. I enjoyed it.”

Click-It-or-Ticket is underway – so make sure you buckle up.

Sheriff Ramsay said, “Click-It-or-Ticket week is a zero tolerance week. If we stop somebody without a seatbelt, they’re going to get a ticket. The fact of the matter is seatbelts save lives. If you start wearing it on a regular basis, you don’t even know it’s there. We continue to see accident after accident where people are seriously injured or killed and if they would have had a seatbelt, they would have walked away. The driver should be responsible to tell the passengers to put their seatbelt on. If they don’t want to, then don’t drive them in your car. We just have to keep trying to educate the public because the difference is clear:  live or die. It comes down to part of the Sheriff’s office responsibility is protection of life, limb and property in that order.”

Memorial Day is upon us and the Sheriff’s Office plans to be busy.

Sheriff Ramsay said, “It’s the beginning of the summer for so many place. We’re expecting a lot of people, a lot of traffic and a lot of boats on the water. This is kind of an all hands on deck. I’ll have all my team members out on the road, extra traffic enforcement officers, my patrol boats will be out. We’re going to do our job to help aid and assist our friends from FWC and US Coast Guard to keep the water safe.”

Reckless speeding, passing and drunk drivers are the top complaints the sheriff’s office gets.

Sheriff Ramsay said, “Our goal is to keep the traffic flowing as best as we can. We’re going to have a lot of weekend people from Miami come down. So the Dade County traffic should be intense coming in on Friday and going home on Sunday.”

People tend to get pretty frustrated when traffic slows.

Sheriff Ramsay reminded, “The road is an old, antiquated road. It has long since surpassed the capacity that it was designed for. A road is designed to flow so many cars per hour based on miles per hour of the traffic flow. We have long since passed that. We’ve got too many cars on a road that is not designed for so many cars. It’s tough and challenging. We sit in traffic just like you. We’re not exempt from the frustration of being stuck behind a slow camper or heavy traffic. We’re doing the best we can.”

A stolen fire truck caused quite a scene recently – indeed it was a two and a half hour pursuit up and down I-95.

Sheriff Ramsay said, “It’s very unusual and hard to stop because you can’t spike out those types of vehicles. The drivers have this big missile. When they hit stuff, they blow right through it. It’s so dangerous. You almost have to just follow the person and wait for them to run out of gas or give up.”

A man bitten by a shark on a dock was air lifted via Trauma Star to Miami last week.

Sheriff Ramsay said, “We have actually had three shark bites in the last couple of weeks. This person brought a shock onto the dock, had it on the dock and the shark was flapping around. Those sharks can turn 180 degrees and this one latched on to his foot. When they latch on, they don’t usually let go and they do a lot of damage. The normal thing for a person to do is try to pull their foot away or kick it and all that does is start tearing more damage.”

A week earlier, three divers had speared a fish and one of them ran into a bull shark and was bitten in the left upper thigh.

Sheriff Ramsay said, “My sheriff’s deputies put a tourniquet on him. We carry tourniquets. We flew him to Miami.”

Then earlier than that, another case involving spear fishing found a person bitten by a shark.

Sheriff Ramsay said, “You know sharks generally we are not on their diet plan. When someone gets bit, there’s generally going to be an alternative reason. You’re spear fishing and you have a fish in distress, bleeding, smelling, making noise. The shark doesn’t want you. It sees a fish in distress and that’s the dinner meal. It comes in and you’re its competition for that fish. It wants that fish. It’s not coming to attack you. That’s why you see them bite and let go because once they bite, they figure out quickly that’s not what they want.”

It’s quite uncommon for an unprovoked shark attack.

Sheriff Ramsay said, “They don’t want us. If somebody gets bit, there’s usually a reason why.”

Thankfully in all three cases, Trauma Star was on hand.

Sheriff Ramsay said, “We were able to air vac all three people out and get them a high-level of care, close those wounds and try to make sure they have the fastest recovery with the best possible outcome.”