Community Service Aide Angela Beamer
Victim Advocate Deborah Geller
Officer Christopher Powell
Sergeant James Walters
From September 12, through November 7, 2019 several dedicated members of the department began the undertaking of teaching their coworkers the task of searching for missing persons suffering from memory loss and how to provide support to their caregivers. Members of the team assigned to the Lost on Foot Training studied the illnesses associated with memory and cognitive impairments. In addition, they met with experts in the field who provided guidance with developing the training. The training team implemented an internal class which educates and enhances officer’s skills.
Officer Robert Zaragoza
Officer Zaragoza was dispatched to a hotel in reference to a homeless male and female accompanied by three young children loitering in the lobby. The couple advised they had been homeless for years, and refused any help with their children. Officer Zaragoza offered them services which they declined, and they left the hotel without incident. He found no probable cause at the time, but needed a resolution to the situation for the children. He checked the department’s records and found that officers had multiple encounters with this family. There were multiple written reports, field interviews, Homeless Task Force Intervention, and child protective investigations. The children had also been subject to criminal acts of domestic violence, parental drug use, theft, trespassing, and fraud committed by their parents. Officer Zaragoza documented his findings in a lengthy report and prepared not-in-custody probable cause affidavits. While many officers fulfilled their obligations to handle their respective calls for service, Officer Zaragoza was able to combine all the incidents to establish criminal charges.
Community Service Award
Officer Michael Brutto
Officer Brutto came upon a mother and child who had been displaced from the Bahamas due to Hurricane Dorian. The mother’s attempts to locate housing did not work out. Officer Brutto paid for the mother and child to stay at a hotel through the holiday season. Eventually, she was able to get an efficiency, gain employment and place her son in school. He went above the call of duty to help this family.
Officer Chavez Grant
Officer Makenzy Simeon
Officers Grant and Simeon were on routine patrol and observed a young man playing basketball at a Plantation park. They learned that he practiced a lot because he was on the Plantation High School basketball team. The officers began to shoot baskets with the young man, and noticed that his ball was in bad condition. The next day, they noticed the same young man while on patrol and agreed they would split the cost to purchase a new basketball. A short time later both officers presented the basketball to the young man who was overwhelmed with gratitude.
Officer Iris Stan
Officer Stan became aware that a male employee at Chili’s in Plantation, was making a long journey to the location from his residence every work day on a dilapidated bicycle that only had one pedal. Officer Stan elected to quietly pursue a resolution. She contacted the management officer at her apartment complex, and arranged to take possession of one of their unclaimed bikes. She then ensured that the employee was provided with his new bicycle, all without attempting to bring light to her actions within the department.
Officer Miguel Lopez
Officer Lopez responded to a traffic crash where a 9 year old boy was struck on a bicycle by an SUV. Even though the boy was not wearing a helmet, his injuries were minor, but his bicycle was destroyed. Contact with the boy’s family revealed that he resides with five additional juvenile siblings. It was apparent to Officer Lopez that the family did not have the financial means to replace his damaged bicycle. He made arrangements with the boy’s mother to have her take him to pick out a helmet and a new bicycle and a local department store, to which Officer Lopez paid for it himself.
Distinguished Performance Award
Officer Venson Marcellon
Officer Marcellon was traveling to work along South State Road 7. While at an intersection, he was stopped in traffic behind a U-Haul vehicle. He noticed a black Mercedes stopped alongside of the U-Haul with its windows down. He observed the driver of the Mercedes point a silver object in the direction of the U-Haul, which caused the driver of the U-Haul to speed through the intersection disregarding the red traffic light. Officer Marcellon caught up to the U-Haul which contained three occupants. The driver of that vehicle informed Officer Marcellon that the driver of the Mercedes had pointed a gun at him. Officer Marcellon acted quickly, initiating a traffic stop on the Mercedes. He secured the driver of the Mercedes. While he detained him, he discovered a fully loaded .40 caliber handgun from his waistband. The driver of the Mercedes also was a convicted felon for drug trafficking. They ultimately found 565.4 grams of marijuana and 270 grams of THC oil being transported inside. Officer Marcellon removed a gun off the streets of a convicted felon dealing narcotics.
Officer Luis Rivera
Officer William Tighe II
Plantation Police received a 911 call from a female who stated her boyfriend, an 80 yr old male, was in the backyard of his residence, attempting to commit suicide. Units responded, and the subject was observed under the trees laying on 2 blankets, holding a revolver to his head. Officer Rivera took a position behind a wooden shadowbox fence to communicate with the subject. Officer Tighe took a position and joined him. As the subject held the revolver to his head, the officers were firm but empathetic as they spoke to him. The subject eventually put the gun down and was safely detained.
Lieutenant Jessica Ryan
Sergeant Nelson Diaz
Sergeant CeJay Hammack
Sergeant Edward Ryan
Sergeant Charles Watts
On July 6, 2019, Patrol Officers responded to a report of an explosion. The source was unknown as information was trickling in. Upon arrival they were told the roof had collapsed inside LA Fitness and they should be prepared for the possibility of a secondary explosion. Yet, the officers acted and incorporated measures to preserve the lives of those impacted, while attempting to identify whether loss of life had transpired. These leaders were vital to establishing components of the Incident Command System and determining locations for the Command Post, the Debriefing Staging Area, the Public Reunification Staging Area, the Media Staging Area, and the Medical/Triage Staging Area. They faced the challenges of this event with great discipline, confidence, and great competence as well.
Officer Thomas Bickham
Officer Bickham was dispatched regarding a reported drowning. The victim was a female about two years old. Officer Bickham assessed the child and observed she had no heartbeat nor was she breathing. He rolled the child on her side and expelled water from her mouth. He then began CPR. The girl’s heartbeat was restored and she began to move. He carried the child to the Fire Rescue vehicle, which transported her to Plantation General Hospital.
Sergeant Ed Ryan
Officer Gary Moore
Sergeant Ryan came upon a single vehicle crash on the Sawgrass Expressway. He observed the driver was still inside, seat belted and unresponsive. He tried to pull the man out through the window since the door was jammed, but the man’s legs were pinned under the dashboard. Officer Moore arrived and immediately assisted Sergeant Ryan at the burning vehicle. As the fire continued to grow, they made efforts to suppress the fire. The fire was quickly extinguished once Fire Rescue arrived on scene. They extricated the man, and carried him to the helicopter for transport. The actions taken by the officers to suppress the fire and keep his upper body out of the vehicle prevented him from burning to death.
Officer Casey Mittauer
Officer Mittauer responded to a report of a disturbance. Upon arrival, a juvenile male was standing in the hallway arguing with his mother, holding a knife to his neck. Officer Mittauer was able to take away the knife from the juvenile and successfully detain him. The juvenile was subsequently Baker Acted and transported for a mental health evaluation without injury.
Officer Michael Baranet
Officer Daniel Bugallo
Officer Shayne Highfield
Officer Kathyrn Maher
Officer Zachary Silvey
Officer Makenzy Simeon
Officer Tyler Stahly
Officer Jennifer Tofexis
On July 6, 2019, Officers had been dispatched to a report of an explosion. The officers did not know whether loss of life had occurred and/or whether there may have been people either suffering or deceased while trapped under the debris. It was also unknown to these officers whether any of the other buildings would collapse, or whether the buildings and cars in the lot would explode or catch on fire. Nevertheless, the officers conducted their search and rescue efforts. These officers faced fear and uncertainty in action, initiating rescue efforts to those injured and others fleeing from affected neighboring businesses.