The Okeechobee County Sheriff's Office with the help of the Okeechobee County Fire Rescue, Okeechobee City Fire Department and the Community Health assessment team of the Florida Department of Health was able to bring an awesome event to the student body of the Okeechobee high School on Friday May 9th. The event began for the sophomores in the gym attending a presentation by Mrs. Renee Napier. Renee's daughter Meghan was killed by a drunk driver years ago and now Renee travels around encouraging youth not to drink and drive and the importance of making good decisions.
While that was happening there was a "Mock Crash" set up in the football field, for the juniors and seniors. The vehicles were provided by Action Auto salvage, the performers were provided by Mrs. Debbie Raulerson's drama classes, the helicopter was provided by aero med.
The scene was set that the crash occurred just as prom ended. The driver of vehicle #1 was drunk and caused the crash. There were 8 performers total. 1 was dead, 2 were critical, and the rest were walking wounded. D/S Dixon and D/S McKinley were the investigators.
We would like to thank Brian Sell with Florida Department of Health CHAT (Community Health Assessment Team) group and his assistant Linda Hazellief, Karl Holtkamp and all involved with Okeechobee County Fire Rescue and Okeechobee City Fire; and most importantly the staff at the High School.
Thank you Okeechobee for supporting the Okeechobee County Sheriff's Office Fifth Annual Special Olympics fundraising events
With your help we were able to have very successful events. The community response was simply amazing and our profits exceeded expectations again. The t-shirts and hats that were sold are seen all over town and it brings a smile to my face thinking, there goes another one of our supporters. Those in attendance at the Tip-A-Cop at Golden Corral were taken care of by the Special Response Team (SRT) as their servers.
On Friday, May 2, we held our Torch Run, followed by our infamous BBQ rib dinners! What a huge success! This year was the biggest turn out for the run. We had over seventy runners that included members from Okeechobee Correctional Institution, Okeechobee City Police Department, Okeechobee County Fire Rescue, Okeechobee City Fire Department, FWC, Federal Probation, Seminole Police Department, Okeechobee High School Brahmans Football team, Okeechobee Sheriff's Office SRT Team and many other private individuals that joined our run.
The Sheriff's Office would like to recognize this year's premier sponsors, Golden Corral, Charlie, Deborah and Luis; Bruce, Big Lake Missions; Terry Burroughs, Chamber of Commerce; Maureen Burroughs, Main Street; OCSO, CJ's; JD Mixon, Kiwanis; Seacoast Bank, Attorney William Wallace, Publix, TD Bank, Sysco, Humana, Campbell Farms, Pritchard & Associates, Wayne Carr Trucking, VFW-Women's Chapter, Buckhead Ridge-Women of the Moose, Chapter 2036, Speckled Perch Steakhouse, WOKC, Okeechobee News, Balloon Man-Matthew Musgrave, Shirley Palmer, Sharon Cannon and Blue Cross/Blue Shield. I apologize if I've left anyone out.
I would also like to acknowledge Commissioner Bryant Culpepper for his participation with Special Olympics and also for his support of Law Enforcement and our endeavors.
Thank you for your support!
Seven Okeechobee business employees were issued summons for selling alcohol to an underage person as part of an Okeechobee Narcotics Task Force sting operation.
Alcohol compliance checks were conducted at multiple establishments, where an underage person was sent into stores with instructions to attempt to purchase alcohol.
People who sold were issued summons to appear in court and citations were issued by the Okeechobee County Sheriff's Office.
Businesses where alcohol was sold to an underage person were: BP Store, 8605 Hwy 441 SE; Marathon Gas Station, 5600 Hwy 70 East; Bill's Mini Mart 3007 Hwy 70 East; Circle K, 400 SR 98 North; Shell Station, 3609 Hwy 441 SE; Max Food Store, 3621 SE 34 Avenue; and Texaco Station, 4993 Hwy 441 South.
Other businesses that were in compliance included 15A Drive Thru, 441 SE; Town Star Posey's Corner, SR 70 East; Town Star, Hwy 710; Mosquito Creek Grocery, Hwy 70 East and Shady Rest Grocery.
Sheriff Paul May said of the operation, "We wanted to do this operation before the prom and school letting out for the summer, to see how easy it would be for underage persons to purchase alcoholic beverages. We visited 12 locations where alcoholic beverages are sold and 7 sold to an underage person. This is unacceptable and will not be tolerated. This time we issued criminal citations to appear in court to the clerk who sold to these minors, the next time they will be physically arrested and booked into the jail. We are listing the names of the stores who sold to minors and I think it is important to list the ones that did not. The ones who asked for ID's and refused the minors, from the whole community I say thank you, but to every place in Okeechobee County that sells alcoholic beverages we are going to do this again in the very near future. Please believe me, this is going to stop."
The Just-Us(Justice) Citation Awards Program is an Okeechobee County Sheriff's Office sponsored program where School Resource Deputies recognize school aged youth for noteworthy achievements and contributions to their schools and community. This program also recognizes an adult mentor or service club in providing support and services to youth.
Three adult mentors have been chosen for the Just-Us Citation Outstanding Supporter of Youth Award. Sgt. Mark Roberts stated, "I'd like to thank David Stokes, Billy Dean and Deborah Raulerson for the time they have taken going above and beyond in helping our local youth during the Okeechobee County D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) Program Graduation. Each year all of you give selflessly your time. David serves as the deejay, Billy as the Master of Ceremonies and Deborah is the Drama(Skit) Coordinator. The D.A.R.E. Graduation is for all public and private schools, fifth grade students in Okeechobee County. I have received multiple compliments through the years on each of you from deputies, students, parents, teachers and school administrators.
Thank you David, Billy and Deborah, we couldn't complete our mission without the assistance of people like you."
Sheriff May said of these mentors, "These are the kind of people that make it great to live in Okeechobee County. They give so much of their time and talents; we just want them to know how much we appreciate them."
Captain Gary Bell reading the names of those who lost their lives in the line of duty in 2013.