Monroe County Sheriff Rick Ramsay presented College of the Florida Keys President Jonathan Gueverra with a check for $100,000 last week. The donation will help fund the college’s new Key Largo campus.
“When Dr. Gueverra told me a few years ago about a campus in the Upper Keys, I told him to count me in, and that I would come up with the money to help,” Ramsay told the Weekly. “It’s all about partnerships; the sheriff’s office loves being a team player and supporting good causes that help the community.”
The donation came from drug forfeiture funds and not taxpayer dollars, confirmed Adam Linhardt, director of media relations for the sheriff’s office. “It’s not uncommon for the sheriff to donate $100,000 to the community,” he added. “It’s legally complicated, but the sheriff always makes the determination what his legal options are and what will best serve the community. We do our best to help as many people as we can.”
Ramsay is known for his fiscal responsibility and his push to give money back to the community, Linhardt said. “A big part of the sheriff’s leadership philosophy is to be a steward of taxpayer money or money flowing into the office that we did not foresee, like drug forfeiture money,” he said. “The sheriff tries to give that money back to the community when appropriate to do good things.
The sheriff’s office has a longstanding, good relationship with the College of the Florida Keys, where cadets can take criminal justice classes and other training, said Ramsay. “The new campus will help the community overall with higher education for all our citizens. It will also enhance law enforcement training capabilities services in the Upper Keys, and even South Dade, with advanced training otherwise not accessible because Key West is so far,” added the sheriff. He noted that this partnership is “good for all” and further evidence of his strong belief in partnerships among police, residents, businesses, churches and schools.
Gueverra agreed. “The sheriff and I have been partners ever since I took the helm at the college,” he said. “This gift is a continued demonstration of his commitment to our community and education. Without his office’s ongoing support, we would not have a quality, affordable, locally accessible law enforcement training facility.”
The sheriff’s office assured the Weekly that as more money comes available down the road, the sheriff would continue to find uses that benefit as many in the community as possible.