Officers Araujo and Thurkettle attended a suppression hearing for an out-of-season deer case that they made in April 2016 in the Picayune Strand State Forest. The officers worked extensively with the state attorney explaining that they did have probable cause for the vehicle stop. They also received help from Officers Polly, Reams and Reith, who found specific laws to present to the courts in favor of the state’s argument of a valid stop. If the defense had won the motion to suppress the validity of the stop, it would have eliminated the violations of the two out-of-season whitetail bucks that were found hidden. The officers’ hard work paid off when the judge ruled that the officers did have probable cause to stop the vehicle. The motion ended with the defense immediately accepting a firm plea deal that had been previously offered.
Lieutenant Shea accompanied 20 cadets and 6 adults from the Naples High School Army JROTC program into the Big Cypress National Preserve for a 24-hour survival hike. The cadets had to hike seven miles into the preserve along the Florida Trail. While on their route, the cadets encountered a scenario where each of the three teams had to perform first aid on a teammate and carry them on an improvised stretcher one mile for a timed competition. Once at their campsites, the cadets built improvised shelters for the night, took written tests on snake and reptile identification, built improvised fishing gear, built a fire by primitive methods, took a written test on first aid, and completed a land navigation course where, at the end, they found their dinner. To keep the experience realistic, Lieutenant Shea provided donated fresh American Alligator meat for their evening meal. In the morning, the cadets hiked back out the seven miles. This year marks 21 years that Lieutenant Shea has been leading this outreach event which the teenagers look forward to every year.