OKEECHOBEE COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE
On Saturday, April 18, 2015, the 19th Judicial Circuit Victim's Rights Coalition, along with Martha's House of Okeechobee and the Okeechobee County Sheriff's Office hosted a one day "Ride for Rights" motorcycle Fun Run. This ride was open to the public and consisted of both civilian riders and law enforcement riders traveling through multi jurisdictions; starting at the St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office, and traveling to the Port St. Lucie Police Department, Treasure Coast Harley Davidson, Martin County (Indiantown) sub-station, and into Okeechobee County. This was a 115 mile motorcycle run where all the bikes were escorted by Law Enforcement the entire ride.
This was the 10th annual ride and was established to provide awareness for victims of crimes. The Victim's Rights Coalition is comprised of members across the Treasure Coast to include Okeechobee, Martin, Indian River and St. Lucie Counties and are dedicated to assisting/advocating for victims of crime and their rights as victims.
Their Mission Statement is to increase community awareness to victim issues and to increase awareness of community services and support. The month of April from the 19th through the 25th is National Crime Victims Rights week. The 19th Judicial Circuit Victims Rights Coalition observes this week and hosts many events to give awareness to victims of crimes.
We would like to thank all that participated in this event to include the Fraternal Order of Eagles and Eagle Riders #4509 and the Blue Nights organizations, as well as all participants of the ride. Thank you to the sponsors/vendors: Gretchen Robertson State Farm, Treasure Coast Harley Davidson, Everglades Farm Equipment, Chobee Steelers Band, B & B Crafts, Big Red Bus, Lounge at Sacred Sanctuary, Superior Water, Plaster Playtime, Beck Fresh Squeezed Lemonade, Chico's Burrito Shack and the multiple agencies and officers that assisted with the escort.
During this event $1,130.00 was raised from the bike run and an additional $1,330.00 from the BBQ dinner.
A Good Deed on Good Friday
Sergeant Paul Ferrell received a call from an elderly Okeechobee woman regarding an individual who defrauded her out of $11,000 to cut down an Oak tree in her backyard. The 92 year old woman stated that the individual offered to cut down the oak tree and remove debris along with grinding the tree stump. The woman paid the individual but the work was never completed!
The individual returned to her home to cut down the large oak tree but then never returned to clean up the mess! During the cutting down of the tree, the individual also broke the cable line from the house and the homeowner had to pay to have it rewired.
The Okeechobee County Sheriff's Officers along with other volunteers, donated their day off on "Good Friday" to helping this elderly woman who was a victim of a scam. Waste Management/Okeechobee Landfill Inc. donated a 20 yard container and disposal fees to help with the volunteer efforts.
"This type of scam is common to elderly folks, said Sgt. Ferrell. Everyone needs to be aware of individuals who knock on your door to say they "noticed a problem with your roof, trees, etc."
If you suspect a possible scam, please do not hesitate to call the Okeechobee County Sheriff's Department at 863-763-3117.
Volunteer of the Year – Lt. Jason Egger
Lt. Jason Egger was nominated by Capt. Pearce. He stated, Lt. Egger has been an outstanding member of the OCSO Auxiliary. He is always available and contributes unselfishly to the auxiliary program.
Administrative Employee of the Year – Jason Knapp and Joseph Smith
Jason and Joseph were nominated by Lt. Brad Stark. "Both have been busy with renovating the computer system throughout the agency. Joseph has just recently taken care of issues with the cellular phone backup system and installed programs that have been needed by investigations. Both Jason and Joseph are easy to contact and pleasant to talk with while discussing technical issues", stated Lt. Stark.
Detention Deputy of the Year – Justin White
D/D Justin White was nominated by Lt. Rhoden and Sgt. Garland. They stated, he has great work ethic and a positive attitude. In addition to his normal duties throughout the community as the work squad supervisor, he is always willing to help out in firearms training as a firearms instructor. He has been a great asset to us and consequently to the agency as well.
Law Enforcement Officer of the Year – D/S Mark Margerum
Deputy Mark Margerum was nominated by Cpl. Donald Ellis, for Law Enforcement Officer of the quarter. "Deputy Margerum did an outstanding job taking the lead in an incident that involved a child that had been taken by an individual high on methamphetamines. The abductor stated the child was a demon and he knew what he had to do with the child. The child was taken into a wooded area and if Deputy Margerum and his coworkers had not located the suspect and the juvenile, who knows that the outcome for the juvenile would have been", stated Cpl. Ellis.
35 years of service
30 years of service
John L. Rhoden
15 years of service
10 years of service
Sheriff Paul May
5 years of service
4th Quarter 2014
Sgt. Crispin Bottari
Sgt. Crispin Bottari was nominated by Chaplain Joe Bishop. Brother Joe, stated that a call was received from an agency in Washington asking that we locate family members of a recently deceased brother. The portion of the address that was noted was not enough to locate. Through diligence and efforts the family was located, Sgt. Bottari along with D/S Harden never once waivered from the task at hand. Upon arriving at the family's location the officers far surpassed mere professional. They gave the family genuine compassion and gentle care, consoling them upon the news of their deceased family member. The family thanked them repeatedly. For this I offer my highest praise!
4th Quarter 2014
Cindy Kemp was nominated by Lt. Hortman and Sgt. Garland. Lt. Hortman and Sgt. Garland, stated that she is always willing to go above and beyond her regular work duties to help in any way she can. She is a huge asset to the department.
4th Quarter 2014
D/D Glen Bishop
D/D Glen Bishop was nominated by Sgt. Mark Garland. Sgt. Garland, stated he is knowledgeable, a great communicator, punctual, dependable and fills in where it is needed on his shift. D/D Bishop is very easy to work with.
4th Quarter 2014
Law Enforcement Officer
D/S Kristen Gray
D/S Kristen Gray was nominated by Sgt. Shannon Peterson. Sgt. Peterson, stated that on October 23, 2014 D/S Gray, while field training D/S Quinton Speed observed a suspicious truck pulling a goose neck trailer that was loaded with a fork lift. She believed that is should be investigated further. She discovered that the vehicle's trailer had faulty equipment. When conducting a traffic stop the vehicle fled and tried to side swipe her vehicle. The driver was later apprehended and it was discovered that not only was the fork lift recently stolen, that the truck had been stolen almost a year prior. Even though D/S Gray's trainee was operating her vehicle she demonstrated at the highest level what a good FTO does, by not only keeping herself safe but keeping her trainee safe and focused. If it wasn't for her exceptional cop sense this truck and equipment would have never been recovered.
4th Quarter 2014
Crisis Negotiation Team
(Lt. Brad Stark, Sgt. Randy Worth, Cpl. Mike Hazellief, D/D Chris Dodd)
The Crisis Neg. Team was nominated by Capt. Bell. Capt. Bell, stated that on December 15, 2015 there was an incident that occurred in TCI that required the call out of the CNT team. They arrived quickly and got the briefing and began negotiations. They stayed diligent and made the best use of their time and decisions they made.
Okeechobee County Fire Rescue places "new" Wildland Fire Engine in service
Okeechobee County Fire Rescue announced today the completion of the refurbishment of a "new" wildland fire engine.
"We are very pleased to announce today this new firefighting asset has been added to our inventory." said Chief Ralph Franklin. "This project was accomplished as a joint venture between Okeechobee County Fire Rescue fleet services and the inmate labor program of the Okeechobee County Sheriff's office." Franklin said.
The project re utilized an existing 1970's era AM General truck chassis, which the county already owned, and $25,000.00 (estimate) of upgrades and fire fighting apparatus. "This type of repurposing of equipment is very common in the wild-land fire service and fire service in general." said Chief Franklin.
The truck is outfitted with a 650 gallon per minute (GPM) pump. It has been converted to air brakes from standard brakes and the electrical system was upgraded to a 12 volt system from a 24 volt system. The truck also has an 855 Cummings diesel engine providing enough power for use in off road in heavily vegetative areas.
The engine will be housed at fire station one but as our wildfire season approaches it will be utilized throughout the county.
For more information contact Okeechobee County Fire Rescue at 763-5544 from 8am – 5pm, Monday – Friday.