For Immediate Release
July 11, 2017

Contact: Sandi Poreda, APR
sandi@bulldogstrategygroup.com / 850.766.1906

OUTSTANDING SERVICE, SELF-SACRIFICE, HEROISM HONORED BY FLORIDA POLICE CHIEFS ASSOCIATION

 

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida Police Chiefs Association (FPCA) announced the recipients of numerous awards honoring police officers and agencies for outstanding service and acts of bravery.

The FPCA is presenting a total of 11 awards to officers and agencies, including the Police Officer of the Year Awards, Pillars of Success Awards, The Rocky Pomerance Excellence in Policing Awards, an Operation Cooperation Award and a Helping Hand Award.

“These awards are a demonstration of the talent, dedication, integrity, and passion of the members,” said Coconut Creek Police Chief Butch Arenal, President of the FPCA. “They not only benefit their fellow law officers and those they protect, but their entire community and state.”

Orlando Police Department’s Police Chief John Mina will be awarded Outstanding Chief Executive Officer of the Year at tomorrow night’s Board Installation banquet. Last summer, the Orlando Police Department and the entire City of Orlando was placed in the world’s spotlight as a catastrophe unfolded at Pulse Nightclub. Throughout the crisis and in its aftermath, Chief Mina was a steady and competent leader, actions for which this award was bestowed. Chief Mina has been a member of the FPCA since 2012.

Captain Terri Brown of the Florida State University Police Department will receive the new award for Outstanding Command Officer of the Year. With 26 years of law enforcement service, Captain Brown has been a tremendous force in her community. Serving at one of the cornerstones of the department, she continually seeks new law enforcement and prevention concepts for possible development. She has been instrumental in the revitalization of the Support Services Division of the department, with special advancements in the Investigative Section.

The Helping Hand Award recognizes a police department and a private sector partner who have worked together to solve a police-related problem, enhance a police related service, or have a positive impact on police services to the public. This year, the Helping Hand Award was given to Alarm Association of Florida Executive Director Bob Neely. Neely has been a part of the FPCA since 2009. He has been instrumental in drafting both state and national legislation regarding fire alarms with the goal to cut down on false alarms and prevent police officers from unnecessarily responding to calls.

The Operation Cooperation Award was given to the Miami-Dade Police Department’s Detective Lazaro Daniel, who opened an Organized Retail Crime investigation that resulted in the dismantling of an 11-member criminal enterprise with documented theft in excess of $2 million from The Home Depot. Detective Daniel used a variety of investigative techniques including linking members together by bank record analysis and social media.

The FPCA’s Pillars of Success Award recognizes men and women who previously served as law enforcement officers and who now serve in private sector security-related positions. The award recipient, Chief Doug Muldoon, served 38 years with the Palm Bay Police Department, retiring in January 2015. Three days later he started as the Director of Law Enforcement Relations with ecoATM, a company dedicated to forging partnerships with law enforcement agencies.

Orlando Police Department Lieutenant Scott Smith received an award for Police Officer of the Year for his heroic actions displayed during the Pulse Nightclub massacre last year. Lieutenant Smith was one of the watch commanders working when the shooting began and led a team into the club. He shot at the suspect and pinned him down, allowing other responding officers to rescue patrons and employees still inside the club. Even though he took fire from the shooter, Smith played a critical role of commanding the initial tactical response as a first responder and later as a SWAT commander.

West Melbourne Police Department Officer Joseph LaRosa was also awarded Police Officer of the Year. Officer LaRosa was chosen as his agency’s Officer of the Quarter in January and last year received a certificate of commendation, three unit citations and one letter of appreciation for his dedication to protecting his community. His outstanding K-9 deployment performance has been recognized by his peers, supervisors, outside agencies and civilians.

The Indian Harbour Beach Police Department’s Detective Lisa German was awarded Police Officer of the Year with an impressive 67 assigned cases and a positive clearance rate of 76 percent, which is higher than average. She works tirelessly to positively close her cases and help her victims while setting the standards in community policing.

The Rocky Pomerance Awards recognize excellence in policing and encourage the sharing of best practices and programs developed to address community problems, enhancing the agencies in the eyes of their respective communities. The award is given in categories for small, medium and large agencies.

Receiving the award for outstanding the large agency, the Tallahassee Police Department was recognized for a dramatic 14.2 percent reduction in violent crimes in 2016. In addition to being engaged in community-oriented policing, the Tallahassee Police Department continues to reach out to the youth of the city through established partnerships, in an effort to reduce the issues that could ultimately lead to violent crime.

The award was also given to the Clermont Police Department as a medium agency whose mission is focused on community oriented policing. Emphasis is on partnerships with citizens, schools, and businesses in order to reduce crime and improve the quality of life in Clermont.

The Quincy Police Department was recognized as an outstanding small agency through its community program “Books n’ Badges” conceptualized by Chief Glenn Sapp. The program provides books to juveniles and encourages the sharing of ideas and education. The books are distributed for free by officers to children in the community.

The FPCA will also present two Wall of Honor Awards to recognize individuals who have contributed greatly to the association. This year the award recipients were past FPCA President Chief Karl Engel who served as Chief of Police for the city of North Miami from 1945 until 1959. Chief Engel served as the first FPCA president, elected in 1952. Chief Engel previously served in the United States Navy during WWII and after began his police career as a New York State Trooper.

The second recipient, retired Tallahassee Police Chief Dennis Jones, served on the Highway Safety Committee and as the District #3 Director from 2007 – 2010. He also served as President from 2012 to 2013. During his time at Tallahassee P.D., Chief Jones was a leader for legislative affairs. His thirty-five year law enforcement career has been one of dedication and honor.

The FPCA is the third largest state police chiefs association in the nation and is composed of more than 900 of the state’s top law enforcement executives. The FPCA serves municipal police departments, airport police, college and university police, private businesses and security firms, as well as federal, state and county law enforcement agencies. The FPCA has members representing every region of the state. For more information about membership and its benefits, please visit www.fpca.com