Miami-Dade County

Crime Watch celebrates 39th year with annual awards ceremony

Let me start by thanking the many readers who have called our office asking for literature about bullying and cyber-bullying so they can be better-educated about the issue. I hope these materials will help parents who may find themselves in this situation. We are also available to do presentations on this subject in any school that requests our services.

Citizens’ Crime Watch of Miami-Dade is proudly celebrating its 39th year of service. Each year we host an annual awards ceremony to recognize our crime watchers and law enforcement partners who work closely with our residents.

This year we will honor our law enforcement women who have died of breast cancer. The ceremony’s theme is “Declaring War on Breast Cancer: Support the Fight,” and we will donate a portion of our silent auction’s proceeds to Susan G. Komen for the Cure in honor of these women.

Our ceremony will be held Sept. 19 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Miami Airport & Convention Center, 711 NW 72nd Ave.

We are honored to have Miami-Dade County Commissioner Jose “Pepe” Diaz as our honorary event chair. This year our keynote speaker will be Florida Department of Law Enforcement Special Agent in Charge Addy Villanueva. Our master of ceremonies once again will be our great partner Brian Andrews with CBS 4. Last year, more than 500 people attended.

We are proud to have been selected by the National Sheriffs Association as the National Neighborhood Watch Program of the Year, and the association’s interim executive director, John Thompson, will be come from Alexandria, Va., to present the award at our ceremony.

The ceremony will also recognize the Crime Watcher of the Year,Chairperson of the Year and the Police Officer of the Year for the county and the municipalities with which we partner, and deliver a Citizen Involvement Award.”

If you are interested in supporting or attending our event, please visit our website online at

In closing, I want to remind you that this is Labor Day weekend, the last hurrah of the summer, and lots of people are going to be celebrating. Please, if you are going to be drinking, let someone else drive. If you are having a party, remember that you can be held responsible if someone was drinking at your house, and gets into a crash and someone is injured or killed.

So be brave and take away those care keys or make sure someone else is driving. If you are traveling, make sure that your children are buckled up or in an appropriate car seat. My concern is that so many could die on the highway during this long weekend for lack being properly restrained.

I also want to congratulate my education director, Joel Mesa, who got married last week. Joel is our McGruff the Crime Dog, and a dedicated Youth Crime Watch coordinator in the schools.