Rescuing victims of robberies, capturing a homicide suspect and demonstrating courage while threatened with an AK-47 garnered law enforcement officers LEO Awards at the recent 13th annual ceremony.
More than 700 people attended the Jan. 26 event at the Miami Beach Convention Center, representing municipal, county, state and federal agencies.
“The event was the dream of Mr. Don Carlin back in 2000, and has grown to the magnificent ceremony it has become,” said Sunny Isles Beach Chief Fred Maas, who was an emcee for the event. “Mr. Carlin has since passed away but his dream lives on.”
The Miami-Dade Officer of the Year award was presented to multiple winners. Detective Oscar Plasencia of the Miami Dade Police Department was honored won for shooting and killing an armed person who killed two fellow officers in 2011. Detective Rei Carvajal and Sgt. Jose Proveyer of the Hialeah Police Department shared the award with Plasencia for a successful car chase of two men shooting at them with an AK-47.
“You have to worry about civilians on the road, and obviously shooting at a moving target isn’t easy,” said Proveyer — who returned fire while driving his own car. Carvajal drove another car next to him.
“You are never going to have that type of experience with somebody else,” Carvajal said. “We have something to talk about for the rest of our lives.”
The winners were:
LEO Uniform Patrol Services Division Award
• Category One: Nelia Real, Key Biscayne Police Department, nominated for her dedication to duty. Real stopped to assist what she thought was a routine accident and then was shot by a man on a crime spree.
• Category Two: Team Clute — Kristopher Clute, Nelson Quintana and Jim Molina, Coral Gables Police Department, nominated for capturing a homicide suspect after a foot chase.
• Category Three: Brandon Lanier and Joaquin Perez, City of Miami Police Department, nominated for making more than 612 arrests, 337 of which were felonies.
LEO Investigative Services Division Award
• Category One: Olga Burns, Aventura Police Department, nominated for dedication to duty.
• Category Two: Team Camacho –– Nelson Camacho, Jose Marin and Sandy Ham, North Miami Beach Police Department — nominated for the investigation and arrest of a gang of robbery suspects, known as the Ninja Robbers.
• Category Three: John Saavedra, Miami Dade Police Department, nominated for courage and professionalism under fire. During an investigation, he was shot several times and continued to physically fight until the incident was over.
LEO Crime Prevention/Community Policing Division Award
• Category One: Jesse Salgado and Sergio Aldana, Medley Police Department, nominated for their dedication to the elderly, the children and the underprivileged in their community through the creation of programs that generated interest, safety and inclusion.
• Category Two: Crystal Korelishn, North Miami Police Department, nominated for her intervention in a suspect’s attempt to lure and abduct young women from school areas. Her action led to the chase and capture of the person during an in-progress call.
• Category Three: Peter Judge, Miami Dade Police Department, nominated for his work and commitment to youth.