News Cast 8/24

News Cast for August 24th:

Police ready for change of command 

Okeechobee city police Chief Robert Peterson is days from retirement, ending his law enforcement career that began in the 1980s. 

He has worked for the Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office, the Glades County Sheriff’s Office where he rose to the rank of Chief Deputy, and for Okeechobee City Police. 

Peterson said he has enjoyed working for smaller police departments. 

“Being small has its advantage because everybody knows everybody.  To me that is an advantage.  Some may not want you to know everything you’re doing, but for the police department it is an advantage.” 

Peterson said he appreciates the community support his department has seen during tough times for law enforcement. 

“If you turn the television on it is terrible for law enforcement being disrespected, but not here.  The worse it gets elsewhere the better it gets for us here.  We appreciate that.  It makes a difficult job a lot easier.” 

He said the biggest challenge into the future for police in Okeechobee will be increases in growth and traffic. 

Employees receive day off for getting vaccinated 

The Indiantown Village Council supports giving employees a day off if they’ve received the vaccine. 

They will offer that as an incentive for employees that haven’t been vaccinated. 

Village employees are mandated to wear masks at village hall. 

Councilmember Susan Gibbs Thomas did not want to force employees to get vaccinated. 

“Someone’s health decision is personal.  Whether you do or don’t get the shot, people feel strongly about it because it is their health and they are making the best decision for them.” 

Other councilmembers agreed it would remain voluntary and also help keep the community safe. 

Village Manager Howard Brown said he thought it would be an incentive to increase vaccinations. 

“I think if employees saw people getting the day off for getting vaccinated, they would say, I would like to have a day off, let me go and get vaccinated.” 

Really speeding out there 

The Florida Highway Patrol reported an alarming increase in high speed speeding tickets this year. 

238 citations were issued of drivers travelling over 50 miles over the posted speed limit in a 30 day period. 

That is a 30% increase over 2020. 

Lt. Yanko Reyes said high speed speeding is dangerous and life threatening. 

“50 miles over the speed limit is just plain reckless.  It is extremely dangerous.  You can lose your life at that speed and take somebody else with you.  There is no need for that kind of speed.” 

Lt. Greg Bueno said fines can be over $1,000 for that kind of speeding. 

“There is never a good excuse in that situation.    There is never a valid excuse for something that extreme.  We take this very seriously and it something we are no nonsense about.  It puts every driver in jeopardy around them.” 

The highway patrol lags behind other states with fewer troopers, one per 9,000 residents. 

Lt. Greg Bueno says it remains an honorable profession with hiring and training going on constantly. 

You can apply online at….