Mayor Jeff Porter recognized Joseph Rivera and Juan Roa as Officer of the Month at the Special Presentations on August 22, 2018 for their exceptional public service and work on the Homestead Police Department during the months of May and June 2018, respectively.
Captain Angela Washington, on behalf of Chief Alexander Rolle, the command staff, Colonel Scott Kennedy and Captain Garland Wright made the presentation to Officer Rivera and Officer Roa.
Officer Joseph Rivera, who began his career with the Homestead Police Department in October 2014, serves on Uniformed Patrol Division. Washington first highlighted a few of the activities that that led to Rivera being recognized, including the pursuit of a vehicle that was taken in an armed carjacking in Homestead on May 28th. Officer Rivera assisted his fellow officers in pursuing the stolen vehicle and in apprehending all five subjects after they ran from the vehicle.
In addition, during the month of May, Officer Rivera was the top producer on his shift, handling 213 primary calls, 100 back-ups to other officers, 18 reports, 14 field interviews, 17 traffic citations and 11 total arrests (including four warrant arrests, four narcotics arrests, one traffic arrest and two firearms possession arrests).
Washington stated that Officer Rivera’s supervisors, including Sergeant Carlos Garcia, have been truly impressed with his performance. In nominating him, Garcia said, “Officer Rivera is a proactive officer who works very well with his peers, pays great attention to detail, consistently follows crime trends and has hit the ground running since his first day as a police officer for the City of Homestead.”
Officer Juan Roa began his career with the Homestead Police Department in February 2009 as a reserve police officer. In July 2012, Officer Juan Roa transitioned from a reserve police officer to a full-time police officer. Over the years, Officer Roa has been an active field training officer and is an active member in the Homestead Police Department S.W.A.T team.
He currently serves in the Uniformed Patrol Division. Captain Washington highlighted two situations that demonstrated Officer Roa’s excellent police work, including the skillful handling of a domestic battery situation on June 25th, which resulted in an arrest without further incident. In addition, on June 5th, Officer Roa responded to the area of the 1200 block of East Palm Drive when reference shots were fired in the area. Officers were able to locate a black Honda Civic leaving the area and conducted a felony traffic stop on the vehicle, which was occupied by three males. Officer Roa located a semi-automatic weapon and ammunition under the offender's seat. Upon completion of Officer Roa's investigation, one person was arrested for a weapons violation.
For the month of June 2018, Officer Roa, also a top producer, handled 102 calls for service, wrote 24 traffic citations and made a total of nine arrests. In nominating him, Sergeant Eric Reyes said, “I would like to take this opportunity to recognize and commend Officer Roa for his outstanding police work and dedication to serving the community.”
Mayor Porter presented each officer with a Certificate of Recognition for their service. Concluding the two presentations, he said, “I just want to say these people are out there every day — pulling over cars with hidden guns, and you know, these people shoot back. And sometimes they shoot first. Chief, we’re very fortunate to have you and your team and such great officers coming on board. Thank you very much to both of you young men for being a great part of a great team.”
Chief Rolle responded, “It’s not only me and my team — it’s up to the supervisors to mold them and make them the officers they are today. We always try to select the best of the best.”
He continued, “Officers Roa and Rivera are local people. Sometime you have to get guys that have their heart in it and that really care about the city.”