April 27, 2012

Big Pine teen charged with business burglary

A 17 year old Big Pine resident was arrested Thursday on an outstanding warrant for burglary, grand theft and criminal mischief.

The burglary to Paradise Petroleum on Big Pine Key took place on March 23rd. 17 year old Nicholas Burttram was caught on surveillance tape throwing a large coral rock through the front glass door of the business.

Once inside, he stole a cardboard box with several hundred packets of Spice, a commercial product commonly smoked as a synthetic marijuana. Spice is no longer legal for sale in the state of Florida.

Detective David Cruz was assigned to investigate the case. Fingerprints were lifted at the scene, from the countertop of the business. Fingerprint comparisons confirmed they were Burttram’s. Once he was confronted with the evidence of his involvement, Burttram admitted to the break in.

Fire burns derelict semi-truck on island

Photo courtesy of Deputy Nick Whiteman

Marathon – Deputies and firefighters responded to a fire on the island in Boot Key Harbor Thursday afternoon.

The large trash fire sent a column of black smoke into the air at 4:50 p.m. as it burned a semi-truck and other items left on the island.

Deputy Nick Whiteman and firefighters responded to the island on board a Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission vessel to assess the fire, which had almost burned itself out by that time.

There were no injuries involved in the incident.

April 26, 2012

Governor, Attorney General honor Monroe County Victim Advocate

Left to right, Sheriff Peryam, Major Crimes Sgt. Linda Mixon, Chief Donie Lee,
 KWPD Officer Diane Lipinsky, Victim Advocate Elaine Woodson, 
Governor Rick Scott, Special Investigations Lt. Lee Ann Holroyd
 and Major Crimes Detective Manny Cuervo.

 At a ceremony held in Tallahassee yesterday, Governor Rick Scott and Attorney General Pam Bondi honored Sheriff’s Office Victim Advocate Elaine Woodson as Florida’s Victim Advocate of the Year.

Attorney General Pam Bondi presents the award to Woodson as her supervisor, 
Major Crimes Sgt. Linda Mixon, looks on. Sgt. Mixon is the person 
who submitted Woodson’s name and accomplishments for consideration.
Woodson has worked for the Sheriff’s Office as a Victim Advocate since October of 2001. She is primarily assigned to work cases in the city of Key West. She is the second Sheriff’s Office Victim Advocate to be recognized by the State of Florida; Deborah Shepherd was last year’s Florida Victim Advocate of the Year.

“I am so very proud of Elaine,” said Sheriff Bob Peryam. “She truly deserves this recognition. Her dedication to the victims of crime in Monroe County is amazing – she gives her all, every day, both to the Sheriff’s Office and to the victims she is charged with helping.”

Victim Advocates work in the Sheriff’s Office Major Crimes Unit, and are on call 24 hours a day to respond to crime scenes where there are victims who need assistance. They frequently work with victims of the most violent or most heinous crimes. They help victims with obtaining services they need, whether it be counseling, medical assistance or monetary help. They don’t stop there, however; they continue to help victims as their cases progress, working with them to understand the criminal justice system, to deal with court issues and to obtain restitution if applicable.

Sheriff Peryam and KWPD Chief Donie Lee traveled to Tallahassee with Woodson and met with Attorney General Pam Bondi and Governor Rick Scott as they thanked Elaine for her tremendous service to the community and her selfless dedication to helping victims. 

April 25, 2012

Man wanted for sexual abuse of child is arrested

A Marathon man wanted for a total of 12 counts of sexually battering a young girl was arrested today.

55 year old Angel Parrado was picked up at his residence at 240 Sombrero Road in Marathon this afternoon. He was booked into jail on a $3 million bond.

Parrado is accused of sexually molesting a young girl from the age of 9 until the age of 15,when she reported it to the Sheriff’s Office. The girl approached School Resource Sgt. Glenn Test at Marathon High School and reported the abuse to him in March. Sgt. Test then called the Sheriff’s Office Major Crimes Unit, who sent specially trained investigators to interview the victim. She told the investigators she estimates the abuse has happened “hundreds of times” over the years in question.

She said she told her mother about the abuse, but her mother told her Parrado would be returning to Cuba soon and she should just “stay away from him”.

Parrado was booked  for 6 counts of sexual abuse of a child under 12 and six counts sexual abuse of a minor between 12 and 18 years of age. 

April 23, 2012

Miami man wanted for contractor fraud

Key Largo – Sheriff’s detectives say a Miami man is wanted for taking money from three Calusa Campground property owners with the promise of building them awnings on their properties; he then failed to do the work he was paid to do.

In February and March, 45 year old Israel Acanda agreed to build the three awnings for the victims. He claimed to own a business called “Perfection Awnings”. He took checks totaling $6,890.00 from the three victims up front, as a down payment for the work. As of now, no work has been done on any of the jobs. The victims called the Sheriff’s Office to report Acanda after they repeatedly tried to contact him without success.

Detective Francisco Gaete was assigned to investigate. He checked with the Monroe County Department of Licensing and found Acanda does not have a license to operate a business in Monroe County. He called the phone number Acanda gave to the victims. The phone number belongs to a roofing business in Miami; the owner says he has owned the company for two years and does not know Acanda.

Detective Gaete obtained a warrant for Acanda’s arrest; he is currently wanted for one count of scheme to defraud; three counts of operating a contracting business without a license and three counts of grand theft. Anyone who has information as to Acanda’s whereabouts should contact the Sheriff’s Office at 853-3211.

“This is a good time to once again remind people how important it is to thoroughly check out businesses before hiring them to do work for you, and before paying them any money up front,” said Sheriff Bob Peryam. “Make sure they have a license to operate in our county; make sure the contact information you have for them is legitimate and talk to others who have done business with them in the past. You may just save yourself from becoming a victim of fraud,” he said.

April 21, 2012

Man arrested for hitting, injuring someone – leaving the scene

Islamorada – A Key Largo man has been arrested for hitting a man with the side mirror of his truck causing severe injuries; he then left the scene of the accident without reporting it to anyone.

According to Detective Patrick Crozier, 22 year old Corey Gaddys was leaving the Full Moon Party at Morada Bay in Islamorada on April 7th in the early morning hours when he hit 21 year old Storm Mendez with the side view mirror of his truck. He then left the scene, leaving Mendez laying on the ground with severe injuries to his face and head.

Mendez’ friends found him at 3:30 a.m. He was transported to Mariner’s Hospital for treatment, then transferred to South Miami Hospital. His father called to report the incident later in the morning, relating the events to Deputy Todd Wyatt.

Once the victim was at the hospital, he was questioned by staff and by a deputy working a detail at the hospital; he  had no memory of what happened to him. His friends said they were at the party and lost track of Storm. They said they never saw him get into any fights or have any problems that night. He sustained a head injury, and fractures of his nose and the orbit of his right eye.

As he investigated the incident, Detective Crozier received several anonymous tips indicating Mendez had been hit by the side view mirror of a blue Chevrolet 1500 pickup truck and that a man named Travis Sebastian was a passenger in the truck at the time. The detective made contact with Sebastian, who said he was drunk that night, but remembered the truck hitting a man with brown hair. He identified the driver at the time of the accident as Gaddys.

Detective Crozier interviewed Gaddys and examined his truck. He found dents and damage to the truck indicating it had hit something or someone. Gaddys admitted to hitting someone that night. He said he left the scene because he didn’t want to get into a fight. He could not give a reason why he didn’t report the incident later.

Gaddys was arrested Friday, charged with leaving the scene of an accident with injuries and he was booked into jail.

April 20, 2012

Animal Farm making public appearances

Farmer Jeanne Selander from the Sheriff's Animal Farm and Mo the Sloth have been making appearances all over the place recently; these pictures are from the MWR Youthfest at Sigsbee Naval Base in Key West this past weekend. This weekend, Jeanne will be at the Key West Relay for Life event at Bayview Park.

Cops for a Cure at Marathon Relay for Life

Everyone from the Sheriff's Office who attended Marathon’s recent Relay for Life event had a terrific time. Congratulations to the Cops for a Cure team. Team members worked hard for months to raise money for a great cause!

Cadets learn about fire fighting

 Cadets from Plantation Key School learned about fire fighting this week with a visit to the Islamorada Fire Station. Thanks to Captain Jason Lyman, Firefighter / Paramedic Jeno Delgado, EMT / Firefighter James Griffith and Firefighter Jason Mumper for hosting the visit. Special thanks to Asst. Chief Terry Abel for allowing the visit to take place.

Deputy receives Sheriff’s Medal

Deputy Martin Digrius receives Sheriff's Medal
 from Colonel Rick Ramsay.

Sheriff Bob Peryam and Colonel Rick Ramsay handed out the Sheriff’s Office top honor to an Islamorada deputy last week – the Sheriff’s Medal for lifesaving actions.

Deputy Martin Digrius was awarded the medal for his quick actions in saving the life of an Islamorada woman who was choking.

On March 3, 2012, Deputy Digrius was dispatched to a report of a woman choking. The victim, 45 year old Debra McClenithan of Islamorada, was eating dinner when she began to choke on her food. When Deputy Digrius arrived on the scene at 8:44 p.m., the victim was on the ground, unconscious and not breathing. Another woman was attempting to give her rescue breaths which were not having any effect.

Deputy Digrius took over care of the victim; checking her airway he found more food blocking it. After clearing the food pieces from her throat, she immediately began taking shallow breaths and the deputy could detect a faint pulse in her Carotid Artery.

Paramedics arrived and transported her to the hospital where she was reported to be conscious, breathing and alert.

“On a daily basis, it is our job to protect and serve our citizens,” said Colonel Rick Ramsay, as he was presenting the medal to Deputy Digrius. “But saving a life – that is something you will never, ever forget. That person you saved is alive, and might not be if it weren’t for you. That is really something.”

April 18, 2012

Fisherman reports body – detective finds hoax

Monroe County – Sheriff’s Detective Manny Cuervo responded Monday to a location offshore of Key West after a sponge fisherman reported seeing what looked like human remains on a sunken boat. The man called the Sheriff’s Office at 1 a.m. Monday after returning to shore. He said it looked like a human torso sitting on a captain’s chair about three feet underwater.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission gave Detective Cuervo a ride to the area where the fisherman reported seeing the remains, about 200 yards offshore of Archer Key, which is several miles west of Key West. An FWC officer went into the water to retrieve the captain’s chair with the remains attached. When they brought it into the boat, they found it was fake. Someone had attached part of a plastic skeleton to the chair and put it underwater; a sunken boat which has been in the area for some time was nearby.

“It looks pretty real,” said Detective Cuervo, “but if it was real, the skeleton would have fallen apart long before it had time to accumulate all the algae that was on it,” he said. “We removed it from the water so we don’t get any more calls about it in the future.”

April 17, 2012

Marathon man wanted for sexually assaulting young girl

Marathon – A Marathon man is wanted for repeatedly sexually assaulting a young girl.

The girl approached School Resource Sgt. Glenn Test at Marathon High School and reported the abuse to him in March. Sgt. Test then called the Sheriff’s Office Major Crimes Unit, who sent specially trained investigators to interview the victim. She told the investigators 55 year old Angel Parrado, also known as Angel Parrado Torna, had been sexually molesting her since she was nine years old; she estimates the abuse has happened “hundreds of times” since then. The victim is currently 15 years old.

She said she told her mother about the abuse, but her mother told her Parrado would be returning to Cuba soon and she should just “stay away from him”.

Major Crimes Detective Geni Hernandez obtained a warrant for Parrado’s arrest; he is wanted for 6 counts of sexual abuse of a child under 12 and six counts sexual abuse of a minor between 12 and 18 years of age. His bond is set at $3 million.

Detective Hernandez says there is a possibility Parrado may attempt to flee to Cuba; she is asking anyone who knows where he is to call the Sheriff’s Office immediately. Callers who wish to remain anonymous can contact Crime Stoppers of the Florida Keys. If a tip leads to an arrest the caller would be eligible for a substantial cash reward.  Crime Stoppers can be reached at 1-800-346-TIPS or on line at www.tipsubmit.com.

Special Olympics Law Enforcement Torch Run

The Sheriff's Office and other area law enforcement agencies participated last Friday in the Special Olympics Law Enforcement Torch Run. The annual run is held each April to raise money for and awareness of Special Olympics Florida. Runners visited area schools and ran through the streets of Key West.Thanks to Publix Grocery Stores, a major sponsor of Special Olympics.

April 16, 2012

Employee of the Year ceremony

Sheriff Bob Peryam and members of the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office attended a ceremony on Friday in Marathon to honor the Sheriff’s Employees of the Year. The ceremony is held each year to honor and commend those employees who went above and beyond their normal duties and performed in an exemplary manner.

Those receiving the award this year are:

Law Enforcement Officer of the Year, Detective Mark Coleman.
Corrections Officer of the  Year, Sgt. Linda Brooks.
Support Employee of the Year, Juvenile Programs Counselor Nat Whitehouse.
Reserve Deputy of the Year, Rick Luna.
Explorer of the Year, Cindy Zaldivar.

Each award winner is given a plaque, a ribbon to wear on his/her uniform, a badge with “Employee of the Year” inscribed on it and a check.

This year’s ceremony was sponsored by Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, and her aide, Kim Sovia-Crandon was there to meet with those who won the award.

The Employee of the Year ceremony is dedicated each year to the memory of Reserve Deputy David Cormier, who was killed in a traffic accident in 1989. His family attends each ceremony in his honor, and to honor those employees of the Sheriff’s Office who show an outstanding commitment to law enforcement and to their community.

Two weekend events will impact traffic in the Keys

Monroe County – This weekend, there are two events taking place in the Florida Keys which will have an impact on traffic. People planning on traveling over the weekend should be aware and should plan accordingly.

On Saturday, the Seven Mile Bridge Run  will shut down traffic both north and south for two and a half hours at the Seven Mile Bridge. Travelers should plan to be across the bridge by 6:30 a.m. to avoid being stuck on one side or the other. Traffic flow will resume at 9 a.m., but usually takes at least an hour after that to get back to normal flow.

On Saturday, and continuing on Sunday, an annual bike event is expected to cause traffic delays in the upper Keys. Travelers should plan extra time if they are going to be driving through the Key Largo area on those days.

The event is expected to attract over 2,000 bicyclists to the upper Keys, and last year raised $750,000 for Multiple Sclerosis. Event organizers pay for officers to work the special duty detail.

The Maroone MS 150 Bike Tour raises money for Multiple Sclerosis, and usually causes the most problems with traffic on Saturday afternoon, between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. People will begin seeing bicyclists on Card Sound Road and in the Upper Keys between the 105 and the 102 mm around 9 a.m. on that day.

The riders travel from Miami-Dade County on Card Sound Road, then on Highway U.S. One to John Pennekamp State Park. They leave the Keys the following Sunday morning, beginning at 7 a.m. and travelers can expect delays on that morning as well, until about 9:30 a.m. with heavy bike traffic on Card Sound Road until about 11 a.m.

April 12, 2012

Animal Farm visits Community Events

 Animal Farm Supervisor Jeanne Selander has been busy lately traveling with her favorite animals to events around the Keys. On the left, she was at the Pre-School Co-op Spring Fair in Key West on Saturday and, on the right, she was at the Relay for Life event in Marathon.

CART members meet

Members of the Monroe County Child Abduction Response Team met recently at the Islamorada Fire Department.

There area total of 66 members county-wide, from many different agencies; members are split into four teams. If a child is abducted in Monroe County the team will be activated immediately; team members may also be called upon to work any where in Florida on abduction cases.

Sheriff's bike officers in Key West

MCSO Bike deputies recently headed south to spend time patrolling in the city of Key West. KWPD officers joined them, and Sheriff Bob Peryam was there for the start of the patrol.

Sheriff meets with Senator Nelson

Sheriff Peryam was one of several community representatives who met with Senator Bill Nelson recently to discuss federal issues pertinent to the Florida Keys at a meeting held at the Gato Building in Key West.

April 11, 2012

Petunia the Pig loses fight with cancer

The Monroe County Sheriff's Office, and the Sheriff's Animal Farm are sad to announce that long-time farm resident Petunia the Pig died April 10th after a long battle with cancer. Petunia was a popular resident of the farm and many who were frequent visitors knew here well. She will be missed. Thank you so much to Veterinarian Doug Mader, from Marathon Veterinary Hospital, for caring for Petunia through her illness, and for all he does for the Animal Farm.

April 6, 2012

Key Largo man cut on the face

Key Largo – A man who intervened in a domestic dispute Thursday night was cut on the face with a pocket knife. The suspect is still at large.

The victim, 38 year old James Galloway, told Deputy Darnell Durham he and his live-in girlfriend babysit her sister’s children while she works. On Thursday night at 11:15 p.m., the sister and her live-in boyfriend, 29 year old Leon Davis, came to their house on Cindy Place to pick up the kids. Galloway said the couple got into an argument in the driveway and when the sister came inside, she said she was afraid to drive home Davis because he was drunk and aggressive. Her sister told her she’d take her and her kids home.

Davis became more upset at this turn of events; he shoved his girlfriend against their truck. Galloway then intervened and the two men began to fight. Galloway walked away from the fight and, as he reached his house, he heard Davis yell. When he turned around, Davis cut him on the face with a pocket knife.

Davis fled the scene in his truck; the victim called the Sheriff’s Office. Galloway received stitches on his face. Deputies searched for Davis, but did not locate him. A warrant will be issued for his arrest.

April 5, 2012

Stolen vessel recovered; Miami man arrested

Key Largo – A custom made boat, stolen from a Key Largo campground in September was recovered in Miami. The Miami man who stole it is in jail.

Surveillance tape from Calusa Campground shows the 2007 30 foot custom made Concept vessel being towed away August 28, 2011  by a white Cadillac SUV. The vessel’s value, including the trailer and two 350 HP Mercury engines, is $137,000.00. The owner discovered the theft several days later; he told Detective Robert Dosh no one had permission to take it and he wanted to press charges.

On March 21st of this year, the owner was contacted by the company that made the boat for him. The company owner said he’d received a phone call from someone who was thinking about buying the boat. The potential buyer said he was suspicious because the person selling it was only asking $20,000.00 for it. He told the company owner he suspected the boat was stolen.

The company owner did some checking and discovered the boat in question – which he was able to specifically identify from his records – was indeed reported stolen. He called the boat’s owner and told him he knew where the boat was. The boat owner called Detective Dosh to report the location of the boat.

Detective Dosh enlisted the aid of Miami-Dade detectives who went to the residence where the boat was last seen. The man who lived there said his nephew had parked the boat there, but had removed it a couple of days before. He gave detectives the nephew’s contact information. He also confirmed his nephew drives a white Cadillac SUV, and identified the vehicle from a photograph.

When detectives contacted the nephew – 22 year old Yadiel Valera – he told them someone had given him the boat. He said he didn’t know the person’s name and couldn’t tell detectives where the boat was located; when pressed for more information, he stopped communicating with them.

On March 30th, the boat, motors and trailer were found abandoned in Miami-Dade County. A warrant was obtained for the arrest of Valera for grand theft.  He was arrested today and booked into the Miami-Dade County jail.

Trailer burns on Cudjoe Key

Cudjoe Key – A trailer in Coco Palms Trailer Park on Cudjoe Key caught fire Wednesday morning.

When deputies arrived at 6:15 a.m., they found the trailer at lot #15 engulfed in flames. They began knocking on neighboring doors to alert neighbors to the danger. As they were doing that, they heard someone yell for help near the rear of the burning trailer.

Deputy Todd Jones ran to the back of the burning trailer and found a man, 54 year old Peter Deluca, at the rear of the trailer. He helped Deluca to a safe area. Deluca was the resident of the burning trailer.

Monroe County firefighters arrived and extinguished the blaze. The Fire Marshalls Office responded and will investigate the cause of the fire.

April 4, 2012

Sheriff’s Office fingerprints go digital

Many people come to the Sheriff’s Office to be fingerprinted, for government job applications, concealed weapon permits and for other purposes. In the past, although digital fingerprinting was available, many of the fingerprints were done the old fashioned way – on a paper fingerprint card. That has changed; now state and federal agencies that process these fingerprints are requiring they be done digitally.

What does this mean for the citizens who need these services? The upfront cost has increased. People used to pay a $5.00 fee to the Sheriff’s Office for their fingerprints on a card. They would then pay various charges to other agencies when they submitted those fingerprints for processing. Now, because the Sheriff’s Office is responsible for submitting both the fingerprints and other information directly, people will pay all costs associated with the fingerprint processing at the time they are fingerprinted.

The cost of fingerprint services runs from $35.00 to $50.00, depending on the agency the fingerprints will be submitted to. The Sheriff’s Office offers these services in the Lower Keys at the Stock Island Detention Center; in the Middle Keys at the Marathon Sheriff’s Substation; and in the Upper Keys at the Roth Building on Plantation Key between the hours 9 - 11 a.m. and 1 - 3 p.m. Monday through Friday excluding holidays.

Fingerprinting will no longer be offered at the Cudjoe Substation or at the Murray Nelson Building in Key Largo.

People should call in advance to find out how much their particular processing fee will be and to find out what paperwork they should bring with them. Payments will only be accepted in cash, preferably exact change. The phone number for the Stock Island Detention Center is 305-293-7348; the Marathon Substation phone number is 305-289-2430 and the Roth Building number is 305-853-3211.

Note: There are a few instances where hard copy fingerprint cards are still required – record expungements and some passports are examples. We will still offer these services for a $5.00 processing fee.

Detective asks for help with business burglary

Big Pine Key – Sheriff’s Detective David Cruz is asking for the public’s help identifying the young person who broke into Paradise Petroleum on Big Pine Key March 23rd in the early morning hours.

The suspect, who appears to be a young, white male from video surveillance tape, threw a large coral rock through the front door just after 2 a.m. Once inside, he took a cardboard box full of “Spice” packets. The suspect did not take anything else from the store. Between 200 – 300 packets of the “Spice” were taken at a value in excess of $3,500.00.

“Spice” is a product marketed as synthetic marijuana, also known as a synthetic Cannabinoid; Spice, also known as “K2”, was recently banned from sale in the state of Florida by legislation passed in March. As of April 1st, these substances are no longer legal to sell. Also illegal under the new law are synthetic stimulant compounds commonly sold as “Bath Salts”. These products were, prior to April 1st, sold legally in many retail outlets; they are marketed in particular to children and young adults, in some cases utilizing cartoon characters similar to those kids watch on television on the packaging to make the product appealing.

Anyone who knows anything about the burglary to Paradise Petroleum should contact the Sheriff’s Office immediately. Callers who wish to remain anonymous can contact Crime Stoppers of the Florida Keys. If a tip leads to an arrest, the caller would be eligible for a cash reward. Crime Stoppers can be contacted by calling 1-800-346-TIPS or on line at www.tipsubmit.com.

April 3, 2012

Law Enforcement Torch Run April 13th

Monroe County - Representatives from various local law enforcement agencies will be taking part April 13th in the 2012 Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics.

The Monroe County Sheriff's Office in cooperation with the Monroe County Special Olympics Committee, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the Key West Police Department, the US Navy, US Coast Guard and the Florida Wildlife Conservation Commission  invites members of the public to join local law enforcement in running in the annual Law Enforcement Torch Run which will start at 9:00 a.m., Friday,  April 13th.

The Key West leg will begin at the Florida Keys Community College Public Safety Bldg on Stock Island with a brief stop at Gerald Adams Elementary School.   Participants will then run to the Sheriff’s Office headquarters building on Stock Island for a brief stop, and then on to Publix on N. Roosevelt Boulevard.   Publix is a major contributor to the Special Olympics, raising millions of dollars each year for the cause.  Then off to Poinciana School, Key West High School, HOB School and Glenn Archer School.  An exchange of the torch from the Sheriff’s Office to the Key West Police Department will take place at the Southernmost Point where Colonel Rick Ramsay will be handing off the torch to Chief Donie Lee.   There will be water stops at all the schools and the run pace will be slow (no faster than 10 minute miles).    Runners can run any leg they choose.   Support vehicles will accompany the runners and will be available for those who need a rest.

Those wishing to participate may register for the run by contacting either Jim Painter at (305) 292-7027 / email jpainter@keysso.net or Special Agent Jeff Hutcheon at (305) 292-7022 / email JeffHutcheon@fdle.state.fl.us or Jo Socha at (305) 292-7042 / email jsocha@keysso.net .

The torch will travel across the state, carried by Law Enforcement personnel.  For more information on the representing agencies go to:

Please come join us in this special event. If you can't join the run, please come out and cheer the runners on for a good cause.

Note: in the past, parents have become concerned because they have received reports about fire trucks, ambulances and other emergency service vehicles present at the schools along the Torch Run route. These vehicles accompany the runners for visibility and because the kids love to see them. They should in no way cause concern by their presence at the schools.