Governor Scott Honors Nine South Florida Police Officers with the Medal of Heroism

Today, Governor Rick Scott honored nine South Florida police officers with the Medal of Heroism for their heroic actions, sound judgment, and service to Florida families.

Governor Scott said, “It is an honor to present these nine police officers from South Florida with the Medal of Heroism for going above and beyond the call of duty to save the lives of fellow Floridians. With little regard for their personal safety, these brave police officers quickly responded to incidents and helped save lives. Their actions are a reflection of their dedication Florida families, and are instrumental in keeping Florida’s crime rate at a 43-year low.”

The ceremony was held at the Northwest District Police Department in Miami Lakes. During the ceremony, Governor Scott shared three stories that highlight how the nine police officers went beyond the call of duty.

Miami-Dade Police Department Sergeant Andrew Rial, and Officers Nery De Leon-Lowry, Wilfredo Sanchez , Leigha Stuber, Edwin Ramos, David Jones and Marcel Orta

Governor Scott honored Sergeant Andrew Rial, and Officers Nery De Leon-Lowry, Wilfredo Sanchez , Leigha Stuber, Edwin Ramos, David Jones and Marcel Orta from the Miami-Dade Police Department for responding to a motor vehicle accident on December 30, 2012. On that day, they discovered a vehicle crashed into a tree and burst into flames – with three people trapped in the burning vehicle. Thanks to their great team work, they were able to gain entry into the vehicle and free the driver and the two passengers who were trapped.

Miami-Dade Police Department Detective Ronald Gooden

During the ceremony, Governor Scott also recognized Miami-Dade Police Department Detective Ronald Gooden for responding to a motor vehicle crash on December 9, 2011. One of the vehicles overturned onto the driver’s side and a female was trapped inside the vehicle.

Detective Gooden immediately attempted to rescue the victim. Unable to open the door, he applied pressure to the window with his arm and body until the window shattered. Once the window was broken, Detective Gooden reached inside and helped the female out of her seat belt and pulled her to a safe location until medical personnel arrived. At the time, the victim was five months pregnant with her first child. Detective Gooden’s heroic actions saved the life of the pregnant mother and her unborn infant.

City of Miami Police Officer Alexi Figueroa

Governor Scott also presented the Medal of Heroism Award to City of Miami Police Officer Alexi Figueroa. On January 17, 2013, Officer Alexi Figueroa was off-duty and shopping at the supermarket with his family. As Officer Figueroa left the supermarket and was walking to his car, he heard multiple gunshots. Officer Figueroa observed a male subject in the parking lot who was shooting in the direction of the supermarket. After dialing 9-1-1 to report the incident, Officer Figueroa then confronted the subject and shouted “police” while ordering the subject to drop the gun. After a short dialogue, the subject complied and dropped the handgun. The male subject was arrested and charged with several counts of aggravated assault with a fireman. As a result of Officer Figueroa’s skillful police work and quick thinking, the subject was taken into custody and no one was injured in the incident.

Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez said, “It takes extraordinary people to become police officers, and today we gather to honor these brave officers whose actions have made them heroes. The people of Miami-Dade County are forever grateful for your heroic actions.”

City of Miami Mayor Tomás Regalado said, “I am extremely proud to be a part of the Medal of Heroism Ceremony today. These brave men and women work hard every day to keep our communities safe and I thank Governor Scott for recognizing them with this award.”

Miami-Dade County Police Director J.D. Patterson said, “For the men and women who comprise the various law enforcement agencies in South Florida, it is gratifying when law enforcement heroes are recognized for their courage, commitment, and service. As we approach the National Law Enforcement month, we would like to honor all of the heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice for their community. I want to thank the Governor for commending these heroes, and I want to commend our officers for their bravery and commitment to the Miami-Dade Police Department and Miami-Dade County.”

City of Miami Chief of Police Manuel Orosa said, “The work that these first responders do on a daily basis demonstrates their commitment to the citizens of Miami, and we are grateful for the support and recognition from Governor Scott with the Medal of Heroism Award. I am proud to serve alongside these heroic men and women who risk their lives while serving in the line of duty.

The “Medal of Heroism” is given to any law enforcement or correctional officer, firefighter, emergency medical technician or paramedic who has distinguished himself or herself by risking his or her life deliberately above and beyond the call of duty and must have engaged in hazardous or perilous activities to preserve lives with the knowledge that such activities might result in great personal harm.

 

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