The Cape Coral Police Department held its annual Awards Ceremony in February to recognize the fine work done by officers during 2020. The ceremony was very different than in years past as it had to be scaled down and socially distanced for the health and safety of all, but as always we are proud to share the accomplishments of these officers. Chief Anthony Sizemore presented the officers with their awards.
Officers Justin DeArmond and Brandon Sancho received the department’s highest honor, the Medal of Honor. It is awarded to a member of the department who distinguishes him/herself conspicuously by gallantry, heroism, and courage with full knowledge of the risk involved to his/her life, above and beyond the call of duty, while engaged in armed combat.
On October 8th, 2019 at around 10:15pm, Officers DeArmond and Sancho responded to a domestic disturbance in which one party had a gun. Upon arrival a man exited the apartment with a gun in his hand. The officers ordered the man to drop the weapon, and he instead raised the gun and fired a round at the officers.
The officers returned fire, striking the man. His girlfriend was able to run out of the residence to safety. The man was treated for his injuries and arrested after receiving medical treatment.
Five officers received the Lifesaving Award, given to a member responsible for saving a human life.
Officer Yordan Perez
On February 20th, 2020 Officer Yordan Perez responded to a medical emergency on Aviation Parkway, where a 70 year old man was unconscious and not breathing normally.
Ofc. Perez arrived quickly and began CPR, continuing until relieved by fire department personnel.
His actions saved the man’s life.
Officer Kelsey Meadows
On August 28th, 2020 Officer Kelsey Meadows was working the Telephone Response Unit and received a call from a woman in Indiana who was concerned about a friend in Cape Coral threatening self-harm.
Ofc. Meadows located several different addresses for the friend, and was able to obtain a ping of the friend’s phone to determine her location.
Officers arrived to find her unconscious from an apparent drug overdose, and after transport to the hospital she made a full recovery.
Ofc. Cortney Hamilton-Reyes
On September 27th, 2020 Ofc. Cortney Hamilton-Reyes was working as the School Resource Officer at Patriot Elementary School. She was notified of a student choking, who had stopped breathing and gone pale.
Ofc. Hamilton-Reyes, Lieutenant Angela Fleming and school staff took turns performing the Heimlich maneuver and were able to clear the obstruction from the student’s airway. The student made a full recovery, returning to school a few days later.
The Citizen Commendable Action Coin was given to the assisting staff members.
Officer Christy Periam
On October 14th, 2020, Officer Christy Periam was dispatched to a shooting call on Sawgrass Lake Court.
The caller stated he had been shot in the arm by someone in his backyard.
Ofc. Periam arrived and found him bleeding heavily from a gunshot wound to his left forearm.
She quickly applied a tourniquet and applied pressure to the wound until EMS arrived.
The man made a full recovery.
Seven officers received the Chief’s Special Recognition Award, given to a member of the Department for outstanding achievement relating directly to community service or assistance to the public.
After the untimely passing of retired Captain Michael Urraro, Master Sergeant James Lear coordinated the CCPD Honor Guard for the funeral service and viewing at Gendron Funeral Home in Fort Myers.
He also coordinated the escort from the funeral home, the Honor Guard’s watch over the funeral ceremony, and the folding of a flag which Chief Newlan presented to the Urraro family.
Master Sergeant Lear worked very hard to ensure Captain Urraro and his family received the respect and honor they deserved.
Officer Randall Miller, Sergeant James Carson and Lieutenant Angela Fleming spoke with a homeless man and learned he was a military veteran estranged from his family due to his alcoholism.
He had been awaiting a transplant in North Carolina and lost his place on the list upon having to come to Florida to care for his ailing mother. He wanted to return to North Carolina.
Officer Miller and Lt. Fleming (both also veterans) and Sgt. Carson offered to buy the man a plane ticket if he showed up the next morning sober. The man did so, and received a plane ticket, a toiletry bag with hygiene items, and money to purchase necessary items in North Carolina courtesy of the officers. Officer Miller drove the very thankful man to the airport.
During the 2020 winter break for schools, Officer Coby Palmer put together a community outreach program consisting of a School Resource Officer-run student basketball skills camp.
He worked with the administration of Oasis Middle School to access the gym for the camp, which was attended by 50 students.
Beyond the basketball skills taught, these students were taught teamwork and leadership skills and respect for others, creating a stronger bond between the officers and the students.
School Resource Officer Sydney Wilcox learned of a student whose family was in need of a washing machine. The student’s mother, who was working multiple jobs to support her children, was having to leave at night to wash clothes at a laundromat.
Ofc. Wilcox contacted the Cape Coral Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 33 for help, and they purchased a washing machine to ease the burden on this family in need.
School Resource Officer Walt Herman noticed a student riding a small pink bicycle with training wheels to school.
He inquired about the bike to the 6th-grade boy riding it, and learned he had retrieved it from the garbage and was the only bike he had. The boy had recently moved to Cape Coral from Ohio and his family. could not afford a bicycle for him.
Ofc. Herman reached out to charities and was able to obtain a nicer, more suitable bicycle for the young man.
Detective John Howes was honored as the 2020 Officer of the Year.
Financial Crimes Detective Howes was assigned to investigate the very large Bruno Total Home Performance fraud case, which had affected over 250 Cape Coral community members, mostly senior citizens. Det. Howes conducted countless interviews, obtained and executed three search warrants, subpoena’d numerous bank records and ultimately uncovered a $20 million/year criminal enterprise during an 18-month investigation.
Det. Howes’ hard work and dedication resulted in the arrest of 10 people for various and numerous felony fraud charges.