|STEADMAN STAHL, PBA Executive Vice President
Well here we are in June, the mercury is rising, the kids are anxious for school to be over and for the summer fun to begin.
Last month’s Police Memorial, which was held at Tropical Park, was another moving tribute to the many officers who have made the ultimate sacrifice. Sadly, this year we had to add four names to the wall: Officer Eva Mae Jones from Miami-Dade Corrections, Officer Henry McAleenan from Miami-Dade Police Department, Officer Jorge Sanchez from the City of Miami Police Department, and Agent Rickey O'Donald from the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The Ceremony is always moving and tugs on the hearts of all who attend. This year, for the first time, the multi-agency honor guards performed a four flag folding ceremony which was done simultaneously. It was quite impressive to see four different honor guards conducting the traditional thirteen fold of the American flag, and then present each flag to the representative of the respective agencies, who in turn presented them to the families of the fallen officers. This year’s hostess was Erica Rakow-Reynolds, who was only 6 months-old when her father, Miami-Beach Police Officer Scott Rakow, was killed in the line of duty. Erica was gracious and stepped in at the last minute to be the master of ceremonies, even though she was due to deliver a baby at anytime, and she did an outstanding job.
The person who had been lined up to be the MC had to have an unexpected surgery. We here at the PBA would like to thank Erica, the Police Officers Assistant Trust (POAT) and the volunteers who put in countless hours to ensure that the tribute went off flawlessly. Your hard work and dedication does not go unnoticed.
Last month, MDPD held a blood drive with the Big Red Bus coming to headquarters. There is always a need for blood donations, as there always seems to be a shortage of blood at the blood banks. The actual donation process only takes about 20 minutes out of your day, and you never know when the time or need will arise when you or a loved one may need it. Donating blood is an effective way of helping others, and society as a whole. To you it’s just a few minutes out of your day, but to those in need, it may save their life. Each donation can help up to three individuals. So, when you see the Big Red Bus, stop in and donate. You can save a life.
We here at the PBA would like to thank U.S. Congresswoman, Ilena Ross-Lehtinen, who has always been a huge supporter of law enforcement. While on the House floor, Congresswoman Ross-Lehtinen recognized all of those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice while protecting our community.
She went on to recognize “Project Hero,” a tradition that was started by the POAT, which places both an American and Thin Blue Line flag at the gravesites of each officer who has been killed in the line of duty here in Miami-Dade County. The flags remain at the gravesites for the entire month of May. It’s refreshing to see a Congresswoman taking the time to recognize our local officers at the Nation’s Capitol.
Please keep Northside Major Ricky Carter in your thoughts and prayers. He was involved in horrific motorcycle accident while traveling to the POAT charity motorcycle ride. Major Carter is one of those guys who always has a smile on his face, and never hesitates to lend a hand to help others in need. Again, please keep him and his family in your prayers, and may he have a speedy recovery.
The PBA would like to give a big congratulations to Judge Robert Luck on his recent appointment to the Third District Court of Appeals. Judge Luck is known for putting in countless hours, and for his dedication and professionalism.
Another congratulations goes out to Charles Nanney on his recent promotion to Division Chief of MDPD. In my opinion, this promotion was long overdue. Chief Nanney is known for his dedication to the profession and his unwavering support of his fellow law enforcement officers.
Lastly, I would like to give a big congratulations and a tearful goodbye to Doyla Calafell. After 19 years of faithful service with the Dade County PBA, Doyla has retired. She too has put in countless hours of work making the lives of others better, and will be missed here at the PBA tremendously.
Again, Congratulations to all three, we here at the PBA salute you!!!
Stay safe and see you next month!
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