Body cams are not used by Okeechobee officers

OKEECHOBEE — Recently, in Hendry County, deputies were involved in a shooting and Sheriff Steve Whidden was quoted as saying, “I cannot say a lot about the evidence or details of the shooting; however, I will say, do not believe everything you see and hear on Facebook or on the news. People will lie. Body […]

Horses impounded by Okeechobee County deputies to go to rescue


OKEECHOBEE — Since April 2, 23 horses have been cared for by Okeechobee County Animal Control and received medical attention worth in excess of $8,000 because of a criminal malnutrition/abuse investigation. After consideration of Florida statutes, the Okeechobee County Animal Ordinance and the fact that these are feral horses, Sheriff Noel E. Stephen has made […]

Six OCSO staffers waiting for test results

OKEECHOBEE — Six employees of the Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office who may have been exposed to the COVID-19 virus are self-isolating at home while waiting on the test results, according to the report given by Okeechobee County Sheriff Noel Stephen at the Thursday meeting of the Okeechobee County commissioners. The sheriff said none of the […]

Sheriff to enforce ‘social distancing’

Churches are not exempt from 10-person rule, says Sheriff Stephen OKEECHOBEE — The business of the day for Sheriff Noel E. Stephen after the executive order issued on April 1 was to establish who and what is considered essential as it pertains to the order. First thing on Thursday morning, he met with Okeechobee Police […]

OCSO introduces Project Lifesaver

Bracelets keep track of those at risk OKEECHOBEE — The Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office is introducing a new program aimed at keeping some of our most vulnerable residents safer. Because his own mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease before her death, Sheriff Noel E. Stephen said he has always been particularly aware of the struggles […]

Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office offers a Senior Check

OKEECHOBEE — Last week we ran a disturbing story about an elderly man who fell in his home, and lay there for five days before being discovered by his mail carrier, who noticed he hadn’t picked up his mail and contacted a neighbor to go check on him. He was severely dehydrated when found and […]

OCSO to participate in ‘Operation Clear Track’ Sept. 24

OKEECHOBEE — The Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office will participating in Operation Clear Track, the Single Largest Railroad Safety Detail in the U.S. Violators will receive citations or warnings. On Tuesday, Sept. 24 during Rail Safety Week, September 22-28, The Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office (OCSO), the Amtrak Police Department and Operation Lifesaver (the nonprofit rail safety […]

Commission struggles with sheriff’s budget

OKEECHOBEE – At their Aug. 13 budget workshop, the Okeechobee County Commissioners came to a consensus to fund a $19.1 million budget for the sheriff’s office for the 2019-2020 fiscal year. The proposed allocation is less than the $20.1 million budget the sheriff requested in July, but more than the OCSO current year’s budget of […]

Okeechobee County boy is deputy for a day

OKEECHOBEE — Once again, our local heroes are making life a little more fun for a young boy in our community by taking time out of their busy schedules to make him feel special. On Monday, Aug. 5, the Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office made 8-year-old Connor Jackson an honorary deputy for a day. Last month, […]

Special Investigator Rhoden retires

Special Investigator John Lewis Rhoden is retiring after 35 years of service with Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office. He was initially hired in 1984. He has enjoyed an incredible career with our agency and leaves behind a legacy of professionalism and valued public service that will be deeply missed. During his 35 years with the agency, […]