Miami-Dade County

39th annual Citizens’ Crime Watch of Miami-Dade awards winners

From left to right, Vivian Havlin, Brian Andrews and Alina Lopez
From left to right, Vivian Havlin, Brian Andrews and Alina Lopez Carmen Caldwell

Today I want to share with you the winners and nominees from our 39th annual Citizens’ Crime Watch of Miami-Dade awards ceremony.

Thanks to Commissioner Jose “Pepe” Diaz for being our event chair. We also want to thank commissioners Diaz, Javier Souto, Dennis Moss, Audrey Edmonson, Lynda Bell, Sally Heyman, Rebecca Sosa, Jean Monestime and Juan Zapata for sponsoring tables for the crime watchers and police officers in their districts.

We especially want to thank Addy Villanueva, Special Agent in Charge — Miami Regional Operation Center — Florida Department of Law Enforcement for being an outstanding keynote speaker. As always, Rev. Robert Moss with his Invocation and the Miami-Dade Honor Guard were inspiring.

We also want to thank Chief Charles Press President of the Miami-Dade County Association of Chiefs of Police, Chief Ian Moffett of the Miami-Dade Schools Police and Miami-Dade Police Director J.D. Patterson for assisting in the awards presentations. This year we were honored by the National Sheriffs Association selecting our organization as the “National Neighborhood Watch Group of the Year” presented by Lindsay Hopkins and Executive Director John Thompson. But our event could not have been complete without the charisma of Brian Andrews, anchor/reporter for CBS4 who delighted the audience with his great personality.

Now for the winners at our event, who truly deserved the recognition for their commitment and dedication:

Citizens’ Involvement Award

▪ Nominees: Denis Urrutia, Sharon Sabrissa, Maria Kottke,Vaughn Marshall, Jacquelyn Beguiristain, Humberto Sanchez, Pastor Cheryl and Richard Sejour, Olivia Bronzi, Annie Ross

▪ Winner: Jonathan Wilson

Chairperson of the Year (County)

▪ Nominees: Barbara Kraus, Raquel Batista, Janine Balkin, Gladys Saenz, Alex Gonzalez, Martha Hughes

▪ Winner: Rev. Robert Moss

Chairperson of the Year (Municipality)

▪ Nominees: Vito Tripi, Genevieve Steffen, Chuck Ross, Fortuna Smukler

▪ Winner: Susan L. Randall

Crime Watcher of the Year (County)

▪ Nominees: Jacob Arana, Ralph Balkin, Duane Smith

▪ Winner: Jose Garrido

Crime Watcher of the Year (Municipality)

▪ Nominees: Jim Frigo, Duante Bell, Harry Katzman

▪ Winner: Marvin Weinstein

Youth Crime Watch Student of the Year

▪ Winner:Parmie Dean, Frank C. Martin K-8 Center

Youth Crime Watch Principal of the Year

▪ Winner: Christina Guerra, Coral Reef Elementary

School Resource Officer of the Year

▪ Winner: Officer Zetammeria Potts

Police Officer of the Year (County)

▪ Nominees: Sabrina Toledo, Leyane Casas, Sandra Machine, Gina Hogen, Adriana Cohen, Javier Aluart, Melaonie Schaefer, Ricardo Alvarez, Amado Garcia

▪ Winner: Albert Perez, MDPD Intracoastal District

Police Officer of the Year (Municipality)

▪ Nominees: John Philome, Michelle Verdin, Peter Judge, Christopher Alfaro

▪ Winner: Michael Gorsline, Village of Pinecrest

In closing, I want to thank all those that helped us in putting this event together. Our Dinner Committee: Sabrina Toledo, Javier Aluart, Lori Pernia, Saddiqua Ali, Angela Berry, Adriana Cohen, Joseph Bermudez, Jill Sanchez, William Del Oro, Jose Rios, Lori Pernia, Michael Gorsline, Mariangelli Fernandez, Fortuna Smukler and Ronnie Hufnagel; and my great staff: Joel Mesa, Alina Lopez, Vivian Havlin. Without them, it would have been almost impossible since we had no money and had to be creative.

Soon I will have pictures from the event on our website, http://www.citizenscrimewatch.org/, and on our Facebook page: Citizens’ Crime Watch of Miami-Dade.

Folks if any of these winners or nominees live in your neighborhood, give them a big “thank you” because they really make a difference in this community.

Carmen Caldwell is executive director of Citizens’ Crime Watch of Miami-Dade. Send feedback and news for this column to carmen@citizenscrimewatch.org, or call her at 305-470-1670.

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