2015 Employee Recognition Awards

Supervisor of the Year / Life Savings Award 1st Quarter

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Sergeant Paul Heiser

Sgt. Heiser responded to a shooting incident at 219 East Hallandale Beach Blvd and provided emergency medical assistance to a black female victim, later identified as Danielle Roland, who had suffered multiple gunshot wounds (approximately 5). Roland was in great pain, and repeatedly asked Sgt. Heiser for help. Sgt. Heiser had her legs supported with his right leg trying to get them up as much as possible to slow her circulation, while simultaneously applying pressure to her forearm, where there was large amounts of blood pouring from.

If it were not for Sgt. Heiser's immediate application of emergency medical treatment to victim Roland, not knowing if a threat of an active shooter still existed, Roland might have expired from her gunshot wounds. Victim Roland was then transported to Memorial Regional Hospital where she underwent surgery for her wounds. Ms. Roland is alive today because of Sgt. Heiser's assistance.

Officer of the Year / Life Savings Award 2nd Quarter

officer williams.JPGOfficer Eric Williams

Officer Williams responded to the scene of a person who had been injured. Upon arrival he observed the subject Carlos Sierra semi-conscious and bleeding heavily from the right forearm. Sierra had been cut by glass during a domestic disturbance and had lost a significant amount of blood. Officer Williams was able to apply direct pressure to the wound and slowed the bleeding. Fire rescue arrived minutes later and took over lifesaving efforts. Sierra was taken to the hospital and is expected to survive the incident.

There is no question that Officer Williams' quick response and decisive action prevented Sierra from bleeding to death.

Civilian of the Year / 2nd Quarter

brown.JPGCSA RhNeisha Brown
In her first year as a Community Service Aide, RhNeisha Brown has excelled in her duties and overall performance. She has a tireless work ethic, and has consistently proven herself to be a valuable asset to our department. In the 2nd Quarter of this year, CSA Brown has been additionally tasked in her assignments, due to staff shortages and injuries. It is not uncommon for CSA Brown to respond to multiple investigations and several crime scenes in one shift.

Throughout the 2nd Quarter rating period, CSA Brown has worked a total of 38 shifts. During this time, she has handled 50 calls for service (most requiring written reports), completed 22 traffic crash investigations, and processed 55 crimes scenes. She has further assisted ISD Detectives and members of other Divisions in processing voluminous amounts of evidence recovered during their investigations. She has reported to work hours early on several occasions, at the request of Bravo Shift Sergeants, to supplement coverage on their shifts, and is routinely the last member of our squad to leave every morning. Further, due to staff shortages and injuries, CSA Brown has been additionally tasked with completing multiple zones of street light reports on a monthly basis. CSA Brown has shown a phenomenal ability to multi-task and exercise exceptional time management skills. She never falls behind in the completion of her duties, even though on many shifts, her workload exceeds those of her peers. She has developed excellent relationships with both her fellow workers and citizens in the community. Her maturity and professionalism far exceeds her relatively short tenure with our Police Department.

CSA Brown continues to excel in her position as a Community Service Aide.

Volunteer of the Year / 1st Quarter

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Jacqueline Cespedes

Jacqueline Cespedes has been a PAL volunteer for over three years. She has been an assistant coach and head coach for soccer since she started in our program. This past quarter, Jackie really stepped up to fill various needed roles. Not only did she help coach two soccer teams, she also volunteered to be our Head Cheerleader Coach and POP Warner Cheer Representative for our program. This time consuming task was taken on by Jackie with no hesitation. She was very instrumental in not only organizing teams, outfitting the girls, but also fundraising to help the girls compete in the State of Florida PAL Cheerleading Competition that was held in Daytona Beach, Florida in December.

As is our PAL practice, all monies required to attend outside competitions must be raised by that group with no City dollars utilized. Jackie organized numerous fundraisers including candy sales. Not only did she raise enough money to transport and feed the girls and coaches, she was also able to buy new warm-up suits for all the girls.

In addition, as soon as Cheer ended, she once again stepped up to coach Soccer during our 2014/15 season. For our soccer fundraiser, Jackie once again took charge and selected a company to help sell items to bring in funds for soccer. So far, she has help raiser over $1,500 for this season.

Although I am nominating Jacqueline Cespedes for volunteer of the quarter, her year round efforts should be considered when Volunteer of the Year is awarded. Jackie is constantly making herself available to help PAL. She has helped secure a local vendor to provide shirts and uniforms and a greatly discounted price. Her efforts towards PAL are a reason why we are able to be successful.

Officer of the 1st Quarter

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Detective L. Sauls

Detective L. Sauls has consistently demonstrated the superior ability to learn and excel as an ISD Detective. He has directly investigated and solved numerous incidents. Detective Sauls was also the lead detective in an Armed Robbery case which yielded the recovery of the stolen cash and the locating and arrest of a suspect. Detective Sauls conducted multiple interviews, collected numerous items of evidence, drafted warrants and provided the victim support in this very difficult time. For these reasons, I nominate Detective Sauls for a Meritorious Award.

On December 29, 2014, Officers responded to 600 Silks Run, the Rok Burger Restaurant in reference to an Armed Robbery. The case was assigned to Detective Sauls and he responded to the scene to further investigate. Detective Sauls began to analyze the crime scene and collaborated with crime scene personnel on the collection of evidence. Detective Sauls began to conduct interviews, review video surveillance, analyze phone records and eventually identified a possible suspect. Detective Sauls began utilizing additional police resources and was able to locate the suspect vehicle, obtain a search warrant and recovered the majority of the stolen proceeds. Detective Sauls then established probable cause for a suspect and obtained an arrest warrant for Armed Robbery. Detective Sauls also began a concerted effort to locate the suspect to make an arrest. Ultimately the suspect turned up in the hospital and was under the security of the Broward Sheriff’s Office until his release to be transported to the Broward County Jail.
Detective Sauls continues to improve and excel as an ISD Detective. I’m confident that when a case is assigned to him, a thorough investigation will be conducted. In this case, due to Detective Sauls’ investigative tenacity, ability to be thorough and analytical and a desire to seek justice, I proudly nominate Detective Lane Sauls for a Meritorious Award.

Officer of the 3rd Quarter


Officer Corey Clark

Officer Clark responded to the scene of a multi vehicle traffic crash with injuries. Upon arrival Ofc. Clark observed one of the vehicle operators: Allen Wong, unresponsive and locked inside a smoking vehicle. While awaiting Fire Rescue, the front of Wong’s vehicle burst into flames, forcing Ofc. Clark to take immediate action. Smashing the vehicle’s left side door glass, Ofc. Clark was able to gain entry into the vehicle and access Mr. Wong. Ofc. Clark, then with the aid of a Good Samaritan, managed to extricate Mr. Wong from his vehicle, without further injury.

There is no question that without Officer Clark’s quick response and decisive actions, Mr. Wong would have suffered serious injury or death.

Officer of the 4th Quarter

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Officer Jennifer Higgins

I have had the opportunity to supervise Officer Higgins since August 22, 2015. Since that time I have witnessed Officer Higgins proactively patrol her zone and noticed that she takes great pride in zone integrity. By being observant, aware and diligent, Officer Higgins has been responsible for recovering two (6) stolen vehicles during my supervisory period. The above listed incidents not only resulted in the recovery of stolen vehicles and property, but two (2) felonious suspects fled from the vehicles, eluding capture and two (2) felonious suspects were also taken into custody.

Additionally; during my supervisory period of Officer Higgins, she has had four (4) in custody arrests. After receiving numerous complaints regarding the sale of “Flakka” , Officer Higgins conducted surveillance which led to an arrest for possession of “Flakka”. This operation led to three arrests being made for possession of “Flakka” and the disruption of “Flakka” sales.

On August 10, 2015 Officer Higgins observed a vehicle matching a BOLO she had received via police radio, where the occupant of same was wanted. Officer Higgins conducted a stop of this vehicle which resulted in the arrest of a suspect for attempted murder and the recovery of a firearm. Officer Higgins exhibits a genuine positive attitude toward her chosen profession. She sets high standards for herself which helps to elevate and motivate coworkers on her squad.

Community Involvement Award

During their tenure with the Community Involvement Unit (CIU), and in particular throughout the FY 2014/15, Officers Martin Jackson and Erik Camero put forth an incredible amount of effort to help bridge the gap between our citizens and law enforcement. They have developed positive relationships with members of the community and serve as a resource for many of our residents and business owners. During special events and community outreach, they worked diligently to prepare and carry out their assignments, educating and communicating with the public in a favorable manner. Their dedication to this unit is clearly demonstrated by their commitment and creativity to improve its efficiency and effectiveness. Some of the most notable community events which was almost exclusively handled by these two officers are: Shop with a Cop, Back to school Bash, PAL comedy show, PAL poker tournament and the most significant; National Night Out. This year, these two officers were tasked with a great amount of responsibility due to the sergeant vacancy within the unit. Both officers truly applied themselves, producing excellent results.

In addition to their responsibilities, Officer Martin Jackson took the initiative to start a mentoring program at the Hepburn center where he helps guide juveniles and provide counseling during difficult situations. He also volunteers as a basketball coach for the PAL program and dedicates personal time to assist with the program. On the other hand, Officer Erik Camero continues to bring innovative ways to help engage the community. He not only coordinates and facilitates the Citizens Police Academy, but also oversees Crime Watch and engages in the PAL soccer program.

Unit Citation Award

Neighborhood Enhancement Team (NET)
During their tenure with the Neighborhood Enhancement Team (NET), and in particular throughout the FY 2014/15, these exemplary group of individuals performed a superior job that deserves to be recognized and commended. The NET team has excelled at accomplishing every CRA measure set before them and were often tasked with special assignments which they carried out successfully. They worked tirelessly to apprehend criminals effectuating over 242 arrests during this year alone with an additional 65 fugitive arrests. They are team players who share vital information with fellow law enforcement officers and work alongside other units to successfully accomplish their goals.

In addition to their direct assignment, the NET team worked cohesively with the VIN unit during many operations which produced positive results. They formed the South Florida Burglary Task Force during the summer months and were effective at apprehending burglars and reducing crime. On several occasions, they assisted the US Marshals with apprehensions, one such notable incident was a sexual offender (case# 28-1503-007125). They have worked alongside BSO Burglary Apprehension Team (BAT) to help identify numerous suspects and at times assist with surveillance. I have received many accolades from the unit supervisor regarding the NET team’s outstanding performance. This relationship recently led to the arrest and clearance of nine burglaries within our city.

The NET team is a group of genuine crime fighters. Their desire to perform police work is commendable and I believe their performance is worthy of this award.

Meritorious Service and Continuous Service Awards

Detective V. Lynch, Officers: C. Tufano , J. Budnick, A. Smith, C. Clark, M. Ter Maat, E. Grange,
J. Harding, L. Fleitas, J. Higgins, E. Bruce, S. Rivera-Harris, C. Cassanova, F. Sanks, A. Vera,
Sergents: M. Cicatello, T. Montellanico, M. Scarpati, Captain E. Diaz, and CSA R. Brown

Continuous Service Awards

5 YEARS: Police Clerk D. Mellides, Officer D. Gonzalez, Officer J. Harding, Officer F. Sanks, and
Officer M. Ter Maat