I want to share with you the winners from our 41st annual Citizens’ Crime Watch of Miami-Dade awards ceremony on Oct. 7, which almost didn’t happen because of Hurricane Matthew. We were so thrilled to have over 450 attendees. Our theme this year was “#Back the Badge.”
Thanks to Miami-Dade County Commissioner Jose “Pepe” Diaz for being our event chair. We also want to thank Commissioners Diaz, Javier Souto, Dennis Moss, Audrey Edmonson, Daniella Levine Cava, Sally Heyman, Rebecca Sosa, Estevan Bovo, Xavier Suarez, Barbara Jordan and Juan Zapata for sponsoring tables for the crime watchers and police officers in their districts, and to all the municipalities whose elected officials participated this year.
We especially want to thank Miami-Dade Police Director Juan J. Perez for being an outstanding keynote speaker. The Rev. Robert Moss of Crime Watch gave the invocation. This year our honor guard consisted of multiple police agencies: South Miami, Miami, El Portal, Miami-Dade Police, Miami-Dade Department of Corrections, Miami Beach and Bal Harbour.
We also want to thank Lt. Raleigh Flowers Miami-Dade County Association of Chiefs of Police, Chief Ian Moffett of the Miami-Dade Schools Police for assisting in the awards presentations. Our event could not have been complete without emcee Brian Andrews, the former news anchor/reporter who delighted the audience with his great personality.
Now for the winners at our event, who truly deserved the recognition for their commitment to our community:
▪ Argeo Tamayo & Alan Campbell — Citizens’ Involvement Award
▪ Eleanor Quigley — Midwest District, Chairperson of the Year (County)
▪ Chuck Ross, Biscayne Park — Chairperson of the Year (Municipality)
▪ Kim Torrente, West District — Crime Watcher of the Year (County)
▪ Jim Frigo, Palmetto Bay — Crime Watcher of the Year (Municipality)
▪ Tatiana Rodriguez, Frank C. Martin K-8 Center — Youth Crime Watch Student of the Year
▪ Felicia K. Joseph, Frank C. Martin K-8 Center — Youth Crime Watch Principal of the Year
▪ Officer Ismael Castilla — School Resource Officer of the Year
▪ Officer Gina Hogen, West District — Police Officer of the Year (County)
▪ Officer Juan Rodriguez, Miami Lakes — Police Officer of the Year (Municipality)
In closing, I want to thank all those who helped us in putting this event together: Galloway Nursery, which donated the centerpieces; Madeline Orr, who got donations from Bal Harbour Shops; Kathy Butler of Altagraphics, for our beautiful program journal; and James Watson of Arts of South Florida, for the beautiful lighting in the room. There are so many sponsors and supporters, I wish I could name them all.
Our dinner committee included Miami-Dade Police Officers Sabrina Toledo, Javier Aluart, Saddiqua Ali, Gina Hogen, Arlene Jimenez, Joseph Bermudez, Jill Sanchez, William Del Oro, Jose Rios, Lori Pernia, Mercy Rodriguez; Pinecrest Police Officer Michael Gorsline; Mariangelli Fernandez of the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office; and Ronnie Hufnagel of El Portal Police. Also, my Crime Watch staff including Joel Mesa, Nicole Paterson, Vivian Havlin and Kathy Fernandez. Without them, it would have been almost impossible.
Carmen Caldwell is executive director of Citizens’ Crime Watch of Miami-Dade. Send feedback and news for this column to firstname.lastname@example.org, or call her at 305-470-1670.