Arrestees will have to rely on friends to get released in Jail and Bail fundraiser.
More than a dozen upstanding members of the Flagler County community will be arrested on March 31 in a "sting operation" that County Sheriff Rick Staly has been planning for several months now.
The prisoners will be tracked down at their places of employment, transported to a waiting jail cell and provided bread and water until -- and only, if -- their individual bail amounts are met, at which time they will be released on their own recognizance.
The build-up to the historic roundup of this group of civic leaders has already created buzz on the streets, especially since it's the first time the community has organized a "Jail and Bail" fundraiser. The event, held the day before the Relay for Life to raise money for the Daytona Beach division of the American Cancer Society, will contribute funds for the same cause.
The fundraiser is the brainchild of Staly, who told his friend Steve Canfield, a local resident and a former fire chief with St. Johns County, if he got elected last November he would help bring a Jail and Bail to Flagler, just as he'd done when he was the undersheriff in Orange County years ago. Canfield is serving as the organizer of the event.
The way it works is that for a nomination fee, people can arrange to have themselves or others -- a friend, neighbor, boss -- "arrested" by Staly sometime between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Friday, March 31. Prisoners will then be brought to a mobile jail cell, which in this case will be set up on the property of the Flagler Chrysler Jeep Dodge sales lot on Route 100. Arrestees are encouraged to bring a mobile phone so they can contact enough friends willing to contribute to meet their set bail. Those who meet their bail before the time of their arrest will be issued a "Get out of jail free" card.
"They'll have to work their phones to get out of jail," Canfield said.
So far, 13 participants are signed up to have warrants issued for their arrest, among them Schools Superintendent Jacob Oliva; county commissioners Don O'Brien, Charlie Erickson, Nate McLoughlin, and David Sullivan, as well as a number of local fire chiefs and business leaders, including Cindy Dalecki of Marketing2Go.
Dalecki -- who as of now is the only woman among the group -- said she was happy to participate.
"I've never been arrested before, so it should be fun," Dalecki said with a laugh.
Organizers hope to see even more people sign up before March 31, which will boost the proceeds as well.
"It's just a fun way to raise some money for a good cause," Staly said.
Panera Bread is donating bread and water for the refreshment of the prisoners, and a "judge" will be on hand, wearing a full black gown, to read the arrest warrants.
"The idea is to create some excitement around the main event the next day," Canfield said.
The Relay for Life event will take place Saturday, April 1 from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the Palm Coast Town Center.
To issue a warrant for someone's arrest, go online to http://relayforlife.org/flaglerfl, or contact Steve Canfield directly at 931-0209.