Memorial Ceremony

April 16, 2009

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Sheriff Al Lamberti and the men and women of the Broward Sheriff’s Office honored the memories of Deputy Philip Billings; Town Marshal John Clifton; Deputy Worth Edwards; Officer James Thomas; Fire Rescue Lt. Mark Freeman and Fire Rescue Lt. Rick Scorgie during a ceremony held at the Ron Cochran Public Safety Building on April 16.

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Photo caption: Deputy Eric Bienkievitz (center) is presented with a special tee-shirt from (l. to r.) Deputy Director Leonard Burgess, Corporal Yolanda Copeland, Detective D. Joseph and District Chief Marc Duguay.

Saturday, January 24, 2009 is a day Deputy Eric Bienkievitz will never forget. The seven-year BSO veteran was providing a law enforcement motor escort for a multi-agency Make-A-Wish benefit ride when a careless driver failed to come to a stop. He was struck and knocked onto a swale along I-95. Thankfully, Deputy Bienkievitz’s injuries were not life threatening, but he sustained deep lacerations to his hands and suffered a fractured ankle.

The benefit ride, which was coordinated by Corporal Yolanda Copeland from Miami-Dade Corrections and Rehabilitiation, raised more than $6,000 to send terminally-ill child and his family to Disney World in Orlando. In an effort to show their appreciation, Miami-Dade Deputy Director Leonard Burgess, Corporal Copeland and Detective D. Joseph visited Deputy Bienkievitz during roll coll at the Tamarac District Office. There they thanked him for his service and presented him with a signed tee-shirt from all particpants from the event. “I worked on motors too,” said Deputy Director Burgess. “There is no doubt angels were there with you that day, to protect you and make sure you made it home safe to your family.” As Deputy Bienkievitz accepted his gift, he was met with a round of applause from his BSO colleagues. His road to recovery will take some time, but with the support of his family and friends, Deputy Bienkievitz will be back on his motorcycle in no time.

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Deputy Pat Darmody is always on the look out, but he didn’t have to look too hard to find a trio wanted for burglary after hearing a BOLO of the suspects’ descriptions over the airwaves.

Shortly before 7 a.m. on Thursday, January 22, Tiffany Patterson stopped at a RaceTrac gas station on McNab Rd. in North Lauderdale to buy gasoline.  As she went inside the store, she looked back at her 2003 Volkswagen Bug to get the number of the gas pump and noticed a man opening her car door.  Patterson immediately began walking back toward her car yelling at the man to get away from her vehicle, but the man quickly grabbed her purse and began running.  Patterson gave chase but then stopped and tried to remember as many details as possible about the suspects and their getaway vehicle.

Once deputies arrived on scene, a BOLO was issued for a light tan Nissan Maxima along with the female and two male occupants.  North Lauderdale Deputy Pat Darmody heard the BOLO and recognized the description as that of three suspects he’s had previous contact with.  Deputy Darmody drove to a location where he thought he could find the group.  His hunch paid off!  As he pulled up to the 1200 block of SW 71 Terrace he spotted the Maxima parked in front of one of the suspects’ home with the three suspects still sitting inside.  As a result, the victim was able to recover her purse and most of her belongings.

Thanks to Deputy Darmody’s quick action, he also helped get a break in other burglary cases. The trio was found to be in possession of two GPS devices, which North Lauderdale Detective Lisa Sokol determined had been stolen during two separate vehicle burglaries in Tamarac.

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(Ft. Lauderdale, FL) – Broward Sheriff Al Lamberti swears in 17 firefighter/paramedic recruits at the Public Safety Building on January 23rd. Class # 08-01 successfully completed 14 weeks of intensive firefighter training at the Broward Fire Academy, under the direction of the Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue training division. The new employees received their badges from Sheriff Lamberti and Chief of Department Joseph R. Lello. The BSFR honor guard was joined by the Black Pearl Pipe & Drum Corps at the traditional badge pinning ceremony.

Photo by Mike Jachles/Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue

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The danger of child predators trolling the internet has captured local and national headlines, and Broward Sheriff’s Office detectives helping protect those kids earned a local TV station a major accolade.

In the fall of 2007, the BSO Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC) gave the Spanish language TV Station Telemundo 51 exclusive access to the “Home Alone III” Investigation, an undercover operation where detectives posed as juveniles on social networking sites.  The detectives logged in and created the computer profiles of young boys and girls, and were contacted time and time again by adult men soliciting them for inappropriate sexual encounters.  In just one week “Home Alone III” led to the arrest of 10 men who drove from near and far to an undercover location where they thought they were meeting a minor.  Instead, the men were received by BSO deputies.

Reporter Ivan Taylor and the Telemundo 51 crew was there to capture the images of the men being taken into custody, and his report “Capturando Depredadores/Capturing Predators,” chronicling the operation, received top recognition at the Suncoast Emmy Award Ceremony held this past December 6 in Orlando.  The Telemundo team received the award for Best Crime Program.  But though the Telemundo crew gets to take home the Emmy statuettes for their great work, we know the ICAC detectives and their outstanding efforts were the stars of the show.  They don’t need to have an Emmy to earn our congratulations on a job well done!

Pictured: (back row) ICE Agent Mike Bentolila, Sgt. Giuseppe Weller, Lt. Robert Cates, and Forensics Technician Jim Medley. (Front Row) Admin Coordinator -Sharon Panter, SID Analyst-Tina McCoy, and Computer Forensics -Technician Jeanne Burtnett.

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(Broward County, FL) – Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue Chief of Department Joseph R. Lello (right) congratulates Fire Marshal and Deputy Chief Charlie Raiken (left), who received the 2008 Leadership Award from the Fire Chief’s Association of Broward County at their annual recognition ceremony on December 4th. Chief Raiken was recognized for his planning, communicating the need for, and obtaining support and funding for the FCABC’s Juvenile Firesetters Prevention and Intervention Program.

Chief Raiken, a familiar face in Florida’s Fire Service, will mark his 30th year of service in April.

Photo by Mike Jachles/Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue

BSO Honors Fallen Heroes

October 24, 2008

On Thursday, October 23, hundreds of BSO employees gathered for a service to honor the memories of Deputy Tony Yanniello and Battalion Chief Richard Korte. Dep. Yanniello was killed in the line of duty on October 18, 1984, after responding to a domestic violence call. “It is ironic that October is National Domestic Awareness Month, the same month Dep. Yanniello lost his life helping a victim of this tragic crime. We do more to assist the victims of domestic violence than we did back then, but for law enforcement, responding to these types of calls is just as dangerous,” Sheriff Al Lamberti remarked during the service. Battalion Chief Richard Korte died on October 3, 1999, after a long battle with lung cancer. Battalion Chief Korte served the Broward community through his work in fire service for almost 30 years. He was an expert in his field and is responsible for the development of numerous fire codes in effect today in Broward County. “Chief Korte’s love of fire rescue came only second to the love of his family,” said Chaplain Rick Braswell.

Photo caption: Sheriff Al Lamberti presents the family of Battalion Chief Richard Korte with a symbolic rose to honor his memory during the memorial service.