Citizens’ Crime Watch of Miami-Dade held its 37th Annual Awards Ceremony on Oct. 5, and it was fantastic. We had almost 500 people in attendance. I want to mention a special thank you to Robert Hernandez of the Doubletree Airport for a fantastic dinner and a superlative staff. An extreme thank you to Brian Andrews our master of ceremonies, who is now back with CBS 4, for a great job.
I want to congratulate the winners who worked so hard all year long in helping to make a difference in our community, as well all those that were nominated by their police departments. I also want to congratulate the police officers who in partnership with the crime watchers were nominated for their efforts in dealing with various issues in the neighborhoods.
The Chairperson of the Year Awards went to Barbara Krause from the Miami-Dade Police South District, and Helen Sonenreich, from the Village of Pinecrest. Also nominated in this category: Municipalities: Damian McNamara – City of Miami, Ana Andrade-Town of Miami Lakes, Vito Tripi – City of Aventura. The County nominations from the Miami-Dade Police districts were Isabel Villarnovo, Maria Elena Ramirez and Lazaro Quintana Jr. in the Hammocks; Wayne Russell, Daysi Gonzalez-Midwest and Annie Ross in Northside; Frank Townsend and Nelson Sastoque in Northwest; Bill Gurk and Alex Gonzalez in Intracoastal; Elisa Toruno in South; and Paulette Fossati in Kendall.
The Crime Watcher of the Year Award went to Raquel Batista from the Miami-Dade Police Northwest District and Ms. Janet Masumian from the City of North Mami Beach. Also nominated in this category was Harry Katzman from the City of Aventura.
The Citizens Involvement of the Year Award went to Cheryl and Richard Sejour from the City of North Miami Beach. Also nominated in this category: County - Barry White from the Kendall District, Maria Amelia Kotte- Midwest District and Dr. Joy Davis-Northside District. From the Municipalities -Beryle Jeune-Town of Cutler Bay, Bonnie Gittlin-City of Aventura.
The Police Officer of the Year Award went to Officer Javier Aluart from the Miami-Dade Police Kendall District and Officer Adriana Cohen from the Hammocks District. For the municipalities – Officer Peter Judge from the Village of Palmetto Bay. Also nominated in this category: Miami-Dade Police Districts – Katrina Kavanuagh-Kendall, Dana Carter-Northside, Leyane Casa-Northwest, Ralph Pagan-South, Sabrina Toledo and Sandra Machin-Midwest and Albert Perez-Intracoastal. From the municipalities: John Philome, Sergio Garcia, Tom Carney from City of North Miami Beach, Mike Mauer-City of Aventura.
The Student of the Year went to Brianna Linden of Michael Krop Senior High. Principal of the Year was Melba Brito from Zelda Glazer Middle School. School Resource Officer of the Year was Officer Natasha Flores-Zelda of Glazer Middle School.
A special thank you to County Commission Chairman Joe Martinez for being our host, to Commissioner Sally Heyman for being our keynote speaker, and to Commissioners Bell, Edmonson, Moss, Diaz, Souto, Monestime, Sosa for sponsoring tables for crime watchers in their districts. I also would like to thank Mayor Carlos Gimenez for sending a proclamation.
Our event could not be possible without the support of the many municipalities and their elected officials that attend, I thank them all for their support. As our theme “Together We Can” make a difference truly made this event spectacular!
In closing, I want to share that today I have reached my Golden Year of 65, so I am now officially a senior, and I look forward to all the advantages that come with it!