Apr 12, 2017
The Putnam County Law Enforcement Benefit Foundation, better known as the Ten-24 Foundation, is quickly approaching its fifth anniversary. It was founded in 2012 to assist Putnam County law enforcement agency employees with emergency expenses that are not covered by their agency’s budget. The foundation is the brain child of retired Sheriff Jeff Hardy, and is supported by the leaders of every law enforcement agency in Putnam County. It is a 501(c)(3) tax exempt non-profit organization.
The foundation became known as the “Ten-24 Foundation” because 10-24 is the radio signal for “OFFICER DOWN – SEND HELP.” The goal of the Foundation is to provide help to any Putnam County law enforcement employee who is faced with an emergency financial situation that cannot be covered by the employee’s agency. The mission statement reads as follows:
The Putnam County Law Enforcement Benefit Foundation, Inc., d/b/a Ten-24 Foundation is a non-profit organization focusing on providing a support network for all Putnam County law enforcement agencies, their employees, and families. We will accomplish this by soliciting contributions and providing financial support for various events and situations that would otherwise go unfunded. These include but are not limited to: provide financial support for Putnam County law enforcement officers and their families in time of need; provide equipment and financial support for the benefit of Putnam County law enforcement agencies; provide financial support for events for Putnam County law enforcement agencies officers and their families.
The Foundation receives its income from public donations, as well as various fundraisers organized by the members of the Foundation. In addition, it receives support from several local businesses. To date, the Ten-24 Foundation has provided more than $18,000 to employees of the various Putnam County law enforcement agencies for emergencies such as a death in the family, sickness in the family, emergency surgery, etc.
In addition, the Foundation accepts donations from members of the public to purchase specific equipment for designated Putnam County law enforcement agencies. Recently, in light of the mass shootings that have occurred as well as assaults against law enforcement, Putnam County Sheriff’s Office Public Service Assistant (PSA) Tommy Underwood recognized a need for all Putnam County officers to have Kevlar bullet proof helmets. PSA Underwood was able to raise in excess of $16,000 for the purchase of the helmets. The funds were donated to the Ten-24 Foundation, and as the result, every Putnam County law enforcement officer has now been issued a Kevlar helmet.
The Foundation also organizes and hosts special events for law enforcement. It is presently planning for the upcoming annual Law Enforcement Memorial Ceremony to be held at the Ravine Gardens State Park on May 4th.
The President of the Ten-24 Foundation is Major Richard Harrell of the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office, and the Vice President is Chief James Griffith of the St. Johns River State College. The Secretary/Treasurer is Kaye Tucker, the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office Grants Manager. The members of the Board of Directors consist of active and retired law enforcement officers, as well as Putnam County business owners and executives.
For additional information or to make a donation, the Foundation’s website is www.ten24foundation.org, or contact can be made with Kaye Tucker at (386) 326-2703.
Captain Dick Schauland (Retired)
Putnam County Sheriff’s Office
Apr 3, 2017
Putnam County FL: On Saturday April 1, 2017 at approximately 2:20 pm deputies responded to 342 Country Living Circle, Melrose FL in reference to the report of a person being shot. At the residence they discovered 70-year-old Barbara Brown Steele, suffering from a gunshot wound to the abdomen. Barbara was transported to Shands Hospital in Gainesville where she was later pronounced to be deceased. Detectives with the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office Major Crimes unit subsequently interviewed the victim’s husband, 68-year-old Eddie Henry Steele, who was present in the home when Barbara was shot. The investigation revealed the incident was domestic in nature and escalated from an argument between the two over watching television.
After being interviewed, Eddie was placed under arrest and transported to the Putnam County Jail where he was initially charged with one count of attempted murder. The charge was later changed to First Degree Homicide when Barbara Steele was confirmed to have died.
No further information is available at this time.
Mar 31, 2017
On March 6, 2017 Putnam County Sheriff’s Office detectives received information leading them to believe two convicted felons, Eddie Ray Bryant and Corey Corbin, were engaged in the sale or trade of a firearm. The ensuing investigation led to the discovery that Bryant received a .25 caliber Raven handgun from Corbin as partial payment in exchange for truck seats and then later sold the firearm to a third party. As convicted felons it is illegal for either man to own, posses, trade or sell a firearm. After being interviewed on March 28, 2017, Bryant was arrested and transported to the Putnam County Jail where he was booked on one felony count of the possession of a firearm and is currently being held with no bond. A warrant was issued for Corbin who was arrested and booked into the Putnam County Jail on March 30, 2017, where he was charged with one count of the possession of a firearm and is currently being held on a bond of $50,000
Mar 24, 2017
Palatka FL: On Thursday March 23, 2017 at approximately 1:05 am, Sergeant Nick Vieira was patrolling in the area of Heidt Road and Silver Lake Drive in Palatka when he observed a silver 2004 Chevy Trailblazer with only one functioning headlight. After conducting a traffic stop, Sergeant Vieira determined the driver, 24-year-old Atarah Zeresh Wright, did not have a valid driver’s license. While being questioned outside the vehicle, Wright asked Sergeant Vieira to retrieve her wallet from between the driver’s seat and the center console. Upon retrieving the wallet Sergeant Vieira immediately saw a baggie containing a white powdery substance appearing to be cocaine protruding from an outer pocket of the wallet in plain view. The substance field tested to be cocaine and Wright was placed under arrest. A search incident to the arrest also revealed 2 grams of methamphetamine and multiple hypodermic needles within the vehicle.
Wright was transported to the Putnam County Jail where she was searched prior to being booked into the facility. During the search two and one half dilaudid pills and another hypodermic needle were discovered in her vagina. Wright was booked on two felony counts of the possession of cocaine, one felony count of the possession of drugs, one felony count of the possession of methamphetamine, one felony count of smuggling contraband, two misdemeanor counts of the possession of drug equipment and one misdemeanor moving traffic violation. Wright is currently being held on a $14,000 bond.
Mar 16, 2017
East Palatka FL: On Wednesday March 15, 2017 detectives with the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office Drug and Vice Unit along with Officer’s assigned to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force went to 300 Michelle Avenue in East Palatka in response to an anonymous tip of an indoor marijuana grow. At the house contact was made with the homeowner, 60-year-old Peter James Vammen, who consented to a search of the residence. Inside, investigators discovered 99 marijuana plants growing in two separate rooms of the home. Processed marijuana and numerous items of paraphernalia were also discovered.
After being interviewed, Vammen was placed under arrest and transported to the Putnam County Jail where he was booked on one felony count of producing marijuana, one misdemeanor count of the possession of marijuana and one misdemeanor count of the possession of drug equipment. Vammen is currently being held on a $3,500 bond. The street value of the marijuana confiscated is estimated to be $275,000.