2016 Annual Awards Presentation

Tuesday, February 28, 2017 2:44 PM


Seven citizens who went above and beyond to help save someone in crisis in 2016 were among those recognized during the Cocoa Police Department’s Annual Awards Presentation held Thursday evening. Chief Mike Cantaloupe and members of the police department command staff, along with members of council and city leadership recognized more than one dozen employees and citizens for their dedication to duty and exceptional level of service throughout 2016. The employees received awards for Officer of the Year, Officers of the Quarter, Employee of the year, Employees of the Quarter, Meritorious Service, Lifesaving Medals, Certificates of Commendation, Departmental Commendation, Auxiliary Officer of the Year and VCOP of the Year.

 The Civilian Service Award was presented to five individuals who acted heroically during a crisis. In August 2016, Jake and Robin Bennett, Josafat Juerez and Dora Dellatorre stepped out of their private lives and immersed themselves in a dramatic water rescue of a family that had crashed its boat in the Indian River. These citizens responded without hesitation to render aid to the victims by offering rescuers their boats or cutting “date night” short to help someone in need. A toddler was unaccounted for and believed to be still in the water. She was later located and brought safely to shore with her family. In April, JoAnn Montgomery sprang into action when the mother of several young children entered the home across the street and shot the children’s father in their presence. The mother indicated she would harm the children, even threatening one of them with a gun. Ms. Montgomery found herself in an argument with the mother who was demanding Montgomery turn over the children who had run out of the home to seek help. Ms. Montgomery defended the children and told the mother she would not let her harm them. The mother left and later shot herself to death at a nearby park. The children were not harmed. In May, Jennings Plunkett witnessed an armed robbery in which the suspects and victims ended up inside a local restaurant. Mr. Plunkett chased the two armed suspects, not stopping until officers were able to locate them. His efforts helped patrol officers arrest two dangerous individuals.

 Special Recognition was also given to Bobby Fleckinger of Diamondback Firearms for his role in assisting the department’s SWAT team. Mr. Fleckinger donated supplies and equipment and covered the cost for the SWAT team’s training and participation in the annual SWAT Roundup, an international competition held in Orlando. Special Recognition was also presented to Holly Lightholder for her dedicated volunteer service and work at Cocoa Community First Thrift Shop.

 Officers and civilian employees were also recognized for acts above and beyond what is expected. The department award recipients are as follows:

Departmental Commendation Medal:

• Officer Matthew Rush

• Cpl. Alan Worthy

Unit Citation:

• Sgt. Mike Dellatore

• Sgt. Dabner Roman

• Sgt. Nick Moon

• Corporal Willie Stephenson

• Officer Nick Hall

• Officer Dale Fountain

• Officer Chris Boruch

• Officer Ken Brackin

• Officer Adam Phan

• Officer Luis Hernandez-Martin

• Officer Josh Hedelston

• Officer Michael Cox

• Officer Josh Roane

• Officer Brian Delos-Santos

• Communications Officer RC Houston

• Communications Officer Kristen Sanders

• Communications Officer Megan Carrothers

Meritorious Service Ribbon:

• Sgt. Amy Moon

• Officer Gabriel Tullier

Certificate of Commendation:

• Officer Patrick Kelly

• Officer Robin Viera-Gonzalez

• Officer Ted Yakarys

Lifesaving Medal:

• Officer Brandon McIntyre

• Officer Luis Hernandez-Martin

Employees of the Quarter:

• Erin Guitierrez, 1st and 4th Quarter

• Yvonne Martinez, 2nd Quarter

• Jerry Dion, 3rd Quarter

Officers of the Quarter:

• Officer Oscar Pimentel, 1st Quarter

• Agent Doug Monda, 2nd Quarter

• Officer Matthew Rush, 3rd Quarter

• Cpl. Alan Worthy, 3rd Quarter

• Officer Luis Hernandez-Martin, 4th Quarter

Auxiliary Officer of the Year:

• Ralph Perrone

Officer of the Year: Agent Doug Monda

Employee of the Year:

• Yvonne Martinez

VCOP of the Year:

• Daren Wiggins