December - Highlands County Sheriff's Office

December - Highlands County Sheriff's Office

Quarterly Report of theHIGHLANDS COUNTYSHERIFF’S OFFICEINTEGRITY QUALITY SERVICE PROFESSIONALISMSheriff Susan Benton4th Quarter 2012VISIONOur vision is a saferHighlands County wherecitizens and law enforcementare joined together; the rightsof all persons are respected;and community values arereflected.MISSIONThe Highlands CountySheriff’s Office is committedto protecting life, property, andindividual rights whilemaintaining peace and order.Goal 1:Create safer neighborhoods byreducing criminal activity andconditions that foster crime andfear within the community.Goal 2:Enhance vehicular andpedestrian safety of HighlandsCounty roadways througheducation and enforcement.Goal 3:Assure accountability byeffective and efficient use ofpersonnel, equipment, andtechnology.Public Safety Telecommunicator Training ProgramHighlands County Sheriff’s Office Consolidated Dispatch Center received approval fromthe State Department of Health as a training site for the State mandated 911 Public SafetyTelecommunicator Training Program. July 1, 2010, legislation became law which requiredall public safety telecommunicators to become certified by October 1, 2012. Thecertification requires taking a course of 232 hours and passing a state exam. There is also arecertification process every two years that requires an additional 20 hours of approvedin-service training. All of our members serving in the Consolidated Dispatch Center havebeen certified with the exception of the most recent trainees. The annual 911 reportrequired by the State revealed that we have a “jam up TEAM”. There were 224,732 callsinto the center for the year and 43,868 emergency 911 calls. The State of Florida tracksand provides data for call answer time; of the total calls, our center answered 95% of thecenter calls within the excellent or above category. The State data indicates that each callwas answered within 10 seconds. Accordingly, 911 calls were answered 94% of the timewithin 10 seconds. These numbers speak volumes about the capable and dedicatedmembers of the Communications Center. Remember answering phones is just one part ofthe job; telecommunicators are listening, keeping victims calm, typing, talking into theradio and tracking all of the activity for every unit that they are responsible for during theshift. Thank you for your outstanding service to the citizens of Highlands County.Goal 4:Provide a professional workenvironment that attracts andretains a diverse group ofquality applicants, rewardsemployee excellence, andpromotes leadership througheducation and training.Goal 5:Assure effective Judicial andDetention processes andservices.

Page 2SWAT RoundupLarge Animal Technical Rescue OperationsThe Highlands County Sheriff’sOffice Special Weapons And Tactics(SWAT) team participated in the 30 thAnniversary SWAT RoundupInternational held at the OrangeCounty Sheriff’s Office RangeDecember 2 – 7 th . The event featured51 teams from across the globe andincluded education, training, a tradeshow and competition. The OrangeCounty Sheriff’s Office, OrlandoPolice Department, Florida SWATAssociation, Winter Park PoliceDepartment, Maitland PoliceDepartment and the Criminal JusticeInstitute at Valencia CommunityCollege collaborated to present thisevent. Along with several teamsfrom across Florida and the UnitedStates, teams from Sweden, Bosnia,Hungary, Jamaica, St. Maarten,Brazil, Switzerland and Romaniatook part.The competition was made up of sixindividual challenges: HostageRescue, Two Man-Four GunChallenge, Pricher Scramble, OfficerRescue, Tower Scramble andObstacle Course. The Marion CountySheriff’s Office team won the overalltitle with San Antonio (TX) PoliceDepartment finishing second. TheHighlands County Sheriff’s Officeteam finished a commendable 25 th inthe competition which included an11 th place finish in the Two Man FourGun Challenge and a 15 th place in theObstacle Course segment.HCSO Lieutenant Jack Bailey,SWAT Team leader, was verypleased with the performance of theteam. “For some of the teams in thiscompetition, SWAT is their only dutywhere our team members are fulltime deputies and participate inSWAT on a part-time basis. Takingthis into consideration, I feel we didan exemplary job and I’m very proudof the performance of our team.”According Sheriff Susan Benton,“We should be so proud of our Team,not just for their performance but fortheir readiness and willingness toserve our citizens at this advancelevel in these dangerous situations”.For complete results of the 30 thAnniversary SWAT Roundup International,you may visit was a quantum leap forward forsouthwest Florida’s animal technical rescuecapability. During the week of November 5 th ,the University of Florida’s College ofVeterinary Medicine’s “VETS” Disasterresponse team, conducted two, two day LargeAnimal Technical Rescue Operations Levelcourses. With the help of Florida Departmentof Agriculture and Consumer Sciences(FDACS), law enforcement received twocaches of equipment for technical rescue.The first of the two day trainings wasconducted at the Polk County Sheriff’s Office,which has a large contingent of deputiesspecializing in large animal issues, and animalcruelty investigations. The second wascoordinated by the Lee County Sheriff’sOffice, which has developed a multi-agency/multi-county Regional Domestic SecurityTask Force (RDSTF) Region VI “TechnicalLarge Animal Emergency Rescue Team”.These deputies come from Lee, Highlands,Glades, Desoto, Collier, Charlotte, Sarasota,Hendry, and Okeechobee. This may well serveas a model for the other RDSTFs as thesecaches of equipment are deployed around thestate. Highlands County Agricultural DeputyFred Tagtmeier attended and was certified as ateam member. Both Polk and Lee countieshave already secured the assistance ofveterinarians to assist in sedation, medicalevaluation in the field, and other services.Veterinarians participated in both classes.The two day course covers getting everyoneup to speed on basic knots, moves intomechanical advantage systems for lifting andhauling, basic safety, animal behavior andanimal first aid. Deputies used lifting systems,rescue glide and webbing patient movementsystems; they performed a mud rescue, and inLee County, they were able to stage a traileraccident and horse extrication (all usingGraduating Classmannequins for safety). All of the equipmentused for the rescue scenarios was equipmentin the RDSTF caches. To complete thetraining, both teams were given a rescuescenario requiring the use of their equipment,to appoint a leader, use Incident CommandSystem to organize themselves, and performthe rescue without the assistance of theinstructors. According to evaluations, bothteams did well.The next course and cache of equipment willbe delivered to RDSTF 1, Walton CountySheriff’s Office in January 2013, which willbe followed by the delivery of the final twocaches and training to Martin and VolusiaCounties the week of Feb 25 th 2013. VolusiaCounty Fire Rescue Service recently had ahorse mud rescue, so they will significantlybenefit from the cache and training.Contact John Haven (,Director of the University of Florida Collegeof Veterinary Medicine, and leader of theVETS team, for any questions about animaltechnical rescue training or response.Sheriff Benton says, “This equipment andtechnical assistance will be most valuable withthe large animal cases that we face locally; wewill be able to call on our regional team whenneed arises.”Equipment Trailer Available to Region VI Team

Highlands CountySheriff’s OfficeC RIME PREVENTION NEWSJanuary 2013Neighborhood Watch Becomes Official in Sebring LakesResidents of Sebring Lakes gather for their third meeting and celebratetheir Neighborhood Watch status, September, 2012.Look at all those bright, shining faces! They’re the membersof Highlands County’s newest Neighborhood Watch inSebring Lakes. Sebring Lakes is located west of US 27 in thevicinity of Josephine Creek and is a lovely communityconsisting of residents living on the streets of GrandConcourse and Sebring Lakes Boulevard. Connie Burton andWilliam Rissmiller were the driving forces behind theinitiation of this enthusiastic group but it’s evident they havegreat support from their neighbors to make their area safer.Welcome to everyone in the Sebring Lakes community andwe encourage ALL of the residents in this area to getinvolved in the group!Adelaide Shores Honors the Dedication of Neighborhood Watch Captain Donna CaponeShe may be small but she’s dynamite and dedicated. Donna Capone has beenCaptain of the Adelaide Shores Neighborhood Watch Group for the past twoyears and during that time she has regularly patrolled the manufactured home /RV community in both summer and winter. She can be seen in her golf cart,usually accompanied by her faithful dog, and always with cell phone at hand,anytime day or night! Yes, Donna has very faithful “Block Captains” however,she is the driving force (pun intended!) behind the eyes and ears of hercommunity. To honor her dedication to safety in the park, Recreation DirectorDavid Greenslade presented Donna with a Certificate of Appreciation plaqueat the November 26th Morning Coffee. In addition, Highlands County Sheriff’sOffice Crime Prevention Specialist Nell Hays gave Donna a gold NeighborhoodWatch coffee cup. We thank you Donna, for your efforts to promotecrime prevention in Adelaide Shores!David Greenslade, Donna Capone , Nell HaysCrystal Lake Club in Avon Park Reorganizes and Revitalizes Neighborhood WatchFrank Seitz has taken over the reigns as Neighborhood Watch Captain in the CrystalLake Club. While it has an Avon Park address, Crystal Lake Club is located onMemorial Drive just south of Lakeview Memorial Gardens. It is a manufacturedhome community with its own 18 hole executive golf course. Established in 1987,Crystal Lake has been participating in Neighborhood Watch in some way since1990. Predecessors of Mr. Seitz include Earl Tietsworth, Barbara Frances, BobZebig, Arlyn Fisher and Ed Trainor, to name a few. Frank is from Canada and enjoysliving in Florida during the winter months. In November he presented theNeighborhood Watch concept once again, to the Crystal Lake homeowners andreceived an enthusiastic response to his request for Neighborhood Watch participants. Highlands CountySheriff’s Office Crime Prevention Specialist Nell Hays gave a training presentation to the group on December4th and everything seems to be in place for a great working group. Best wishes to Frank Seitz and the CrystalLake Neighborhood Watch!

Town ‘N Country Holds Annual Neighborhood Watch MeetingOn December 3rd the homeowners and residents of Town ‘NCountry Mobile Home Park invited Nell Hays to speak at theirmorning coffee and conduct their annual Neighborhood Watchmeeting. Nell presented property crime statistics for the past yearand updated attendees on the latest frauds and scams. Town ‘NCountry is a community on Cooper Road just north of LeisureAcres. Neighborhood Watch Chairperson Hal Johnson andAssistant Chair Mark Sims apparently do a fine job of coordinatingBoard of Directors (left) & residents listen attentively tothe annual Neighborhood Watch statistics presentation.this group because there were NO propertycrimes reported in this community overthe past 12 months. Thanks to everyonefor their vigilance in reporting suspiciouspersons, vehicles and activities andkeeping their community safe!Neighborhood Watch Response Aids DeputiesFrom the Highlands County Sheriff’s Office News Release November 13, 2012Members of the Fairmount Mobile Estates Neighborhood Watch were on the lookout this morning and theirinformation assisted deputies in apprehending a suspicious person with an active warrant. At approximately8AM Monday, November 12th, a resident of Fairmount Mobile Estates called the Highlands CountySheriff’s Office Central Dispatch to report a suspicious person in the vicinity of a vehicle parked at anunoccupied home. While deputies were en route to the area, numerous other calls came in essentiallydetailing the path of the subject. When the suspect ran, deputies set up a perimeter, however the subjectcontinued eluding deputies. Undeterred, residents continued to call Dispatch and relay information regardingthe subject’s location. After tracking the subject for approximately 45 minutes, deputies took the subject,Donald Black, Jr. into custody at the Publix Shopping Plaza at the corner of US 27 and Schumacher Road/Sebring Parkway. Black, who lists his address as 3623 New York Ave., within Fairmount Mobile Estates, hadan active warrant for his arrest stemming from a vehicle theft which occurred at the Alan Jay Dealership inOctober. He was arrested on that warrant and transported to the Highlands County Jail whereadditional charges are expected from this morning’s incident. Patrol Sergeant Jamie Davidson credits thealert and continuous response from the Fairmount Mobile Neighborhood Watch participants for the timelyapprehension of Donald Black, Jr. “If it wasn’t for these calls, we might not have been able to find thisperson,” Davidson commented, “They certainly helped us today!” Sheriff Susan Benton emphasized thevalue of the community in this situation, “As stated by Sir Walter Peel, the founder of modern policing, thepolice are the public and the public are the police. It is imperative that we operate together; thank youFairmount Mobile Neighborhood Watch.”Fairmount Mobile Estates NeighborhoodWatch Captain Bernie Rupert said “I’m gladwe were able to assist the deputies thismorning. We just did what we are trained todo, and I’m happy it worked out.”Fairmount Mobile Neighborhood WatchBlock Captains meet the first Monday of themonth at Homer’s Restaurant in Sebring.

SHERIFF’S OFFICEOctober 1, 2012—December 31, 2012Page 3QUARTERLY INFORMATION—ADMINISTRATION & COURTNew Member Hires:Civilians Full/Part-timeSworn Full/Part-time SwornApplications ReceivedApplications ProcessedPayroll Transactions ProcessedPayable Checks ProcessedP-Card PurchasesCitizens FingerprintedInformation Services Requests4/116/054502,409495475458602Court Related Services:Cases In CourtInmates Taken to CourtArrests by BailiffsPersons thru Security StationJudicial/Civil Process Services:Received/ProcessedServedActiveQUARTERLY INFORMATION—LAW ENFORCEMENTAdministrative Calls911 CallsComputer Aided DispatchHCSO (64%)SPD (15%)LPPD (4%)FIRE (6%)EMS (11%)Offense ReportsTraffic Citations IssuedK-9 SearchesWarrant Numbers:Received/ProcessedServedActiveInmates Booked into JailInmates Released from JailInstructional Program HoursInmate Transport MilesTransports to State PrisonICE Picked UpDetainer's PlacedCMP ParticipantsDollars Saved in LaborDollars Collected in FeesInmate Meals ServedAvg Food Cost per Day Per InmateAlcohol Breath Tests52,02511,44434,39321,9835,3111,4101,9883,7013,0509622786525903,391Items into EvidenceEvidence Items DisposedCrime Scene Lab CasesCriminal Investigation Unit CasesSpecial Investigations Unit CasesSVU Cases Received from DCFCrime Victims ServedVictim Advocate ServicesSafe Neighbor Team ArrestsSIU Narcotic ArrestsNumber of Arrests By PatrolDUI ArrestsBusiness Security Surveys/residentialNeighborhood Watch PresentationsQUARTERLY INFORMATION—DETENTION1,1159791,76131,13444212213$9,121.84$770112,642$1.9331Average Daily PopulationStaff Meals PurchasedNet Commissary EarningsMedical Fees ChargedMedical Fees CollectedSubsistence Fees ChargedSubsistence Fees CollectedInmate Per-Diem ChargedInmate Per-Diem CollectedLabor Hours by Inmates S/OLabor Hours by Inmates -OtherDollars Saved in Labor6,6809469130,1972,0421,9161263,5171,8911702372253621255592299577625032409$1,795$7,188.85$167,238.08$9,026.55$57,976.94$16,448.31$20,026.93$8,220.1237,280902$293,860.70Missing and ExploitedChildren’s Program(MECP)Keeping Kids Safe andResilientMany children across ourcountry face tremendousadversity—at home, at school,or on the street. Their far-fromidealliving conditions put themat high risk for becoming the“perfect victim” of predatorswho seek out and targetvulnerable children. For thisreason, it is imperative that weequip our children with thetools they need to be aware oftheir surroundings and protectthemselves from victimization.Understanding which factorsput a child at risk forexploitation and which serve toprotect them will allow us todevelop and implement themost effective prevention andintervention programs—programs that can becustomized to meet the needsof individual communities.This month’s Missing andExploited Children’s Program(MECP) newsletter looks at theresearch on child and youthsafety and resiliency, anddescribes some of the programscurrently available to thejuvenile justice field. The goalis to provide parents, educatorsand juvenile justicepractitioners alike with a widevariety of resources that willassist them in the work ofprotecting children from harmand supporting victims andtheir families.For information on training andtechnical assistance opportunitieson missing and exploitedchildren’s issues, contact MECP at1-888-347-5610

Highlands County Sheriff’s Office Member AttainsInternational CertificationDetective Jeff FennellThe International Association for Identification is theworld’s oldest and largest forensic science/identificationassociation. This organization certifies crime scenepersonnel in areas of bloodstain patterns, crime sceneinvestigator, analyst and reconstructionist, footwear, forensicart, photography and video, and latent and ten printfingerprints. In November, Highlands County Sheriff’sDetective Jeff Fennell, pictured above next to his HighlandsCounty Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene vehicle, attained theCertified Crime Scene Investigator designation. Thisrequires a minimum of one year in crime scene relatedactivities and a minimum of 48 hours of approvedinstruction in crime scene related courses. In additionthe applicant must pass a written test with a minimumscore of 75% for the 200 questions, without supportingtexts or internet access.CSD Fennell has been a member of the HighlandsCounty Sheriff’s Office for 14 years and served as aRoad Patrol Deputy and Evidence Technician prior tomoving into the Crime Scene Unit.“It is imperative that our members stay current on allmatters related to their profession. Crime sceneinvestigation is such a specific element in crime solvingand our members are so dedicated to this communitythat they take seriously their training andcertifications. Thank you Detective Fennell for yourwillingness to serve our community at this advancedlevel,” said Sheriff Susan Benton.Chief Deputy Mark Schrader added that “Jeff’sexperience, training, expertise, education andcertifications in the area of crime scene investigationsmakes him a valuable and respected resource within theSheriff’s Office, in assisting our deputies and inparticular our detectives in solving crimes.”HIGHLANDS COUNTYSHERIFF’S OFFICESheriff Susan Benton434 FERNLEAF AVENUESEBRING, FL 33870OFFICE: (863) 402-7200For tips on how to keep our kids safe see the Florida Sheriffs Association Child Safety Page@

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