Today, November 19, the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office remembers and celebrates the life of former Sheriff Rick Roth on his birthday.
“I will always remember Sheriff Roth as a leader who had confidence in me and helped me be the person I am today,” said Sheriff Rick Ramsay. “I will be forever grateful for his friendship and mentorship. We celebrate his life today and remember him as one of the greatest leaders to wear the badge.”
Sheriff Rick Roth of Grassy Key is remembered for his long service to the Florida Keys.
Sheriff Roth served the community for 43 years — 18 as Sheriff.
Sheriff Roth would enjoy a career that included working with then Sheriff William Freeman’s efforts to eradicate drug smuggling in the Keys in the 1970s and then the Mariel Boat Lift of the 1980s.
By the time he became Sheriff, Sheriff Roth developed the professional vision that shaped the Sheriff’s Office into the modern agency it is today. He forged goals that made the Sheriff’s Office a state and national accredited law enforcement agency.
The Trauma Star air ambulance helicopter program began under the vision of Sheriff Rick Roth in 2002. That year, the agency acquired its first helicopter. The program grew in the years thereafter and now three aircraft serve the community with an additional base operating at Lower Keys Medical Center in Key West as well as out of the original hangar at the Florida Keys Marathon International Airport. The aircraft currently perform more than 1,000 flights a year. This premier life-saving program exists due to the vision, dedication and leadership of Sheriff Roth. Sheriff Rick Ramsay ordered a plaque (see attached photo) be made and installed at the Sheriff’s Office Aviation Division Hangar in Marathon as permanent reminder of Sheriff’s Roth vision.
An animal lover, Sheriff Roth played a key role in getting the much loved Sheriff’s Office Animal Farm off the ground. What started with a few ducks from the golf course, the Animal Farm is now a full scale forever home for a litany of creatures which attracts global media attention as well as thousands of visitors a month.
Sheriff Roth retired in January 2009, but his legacy at the Sheriff’s Office will never be forgotten.
Sheriff Roth passed away on Oct. 15, 2019. He was 80. Today the Sheriff’s Office asks residents to remember the life he lived in service to others.