|PABLO LIMA, PBA Vice President
Dade County PBA Law Enforcement Awards Gala
What a great success this year’s gala was. While the ladies looked elegant and glamorous, and the gents were equally as dashing, that’s not what this spectacular event is all about. It’s about honoring our local heroes and recognizing those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for our community. And, honoring our heroes is exactly what the PBA, along with nearly 800 of our guests, did on Saturday, May 20th.
As always, this year’s selection process was a difficult one to say the least. The honorees were
selected through a committee and it wasn’t easy to select this year’s honorees because there were so many deserving of recognition. Let me personally thank each of the honorees and those of you out there doing the job day-in and day-out. In all my years (and yes, I started very early) the one common denominator that all of our heroes share is, “I am not a hero, I was just doing my job.” That is what heroes are made of! And that’s what our officers do daily.
This year’s Officer of the Year was Miami-Dade County Officer Diana Castillo. I have had the pleasure of knowing Diana and working with her for several years back when I got to do real police work. Diana was the type of officer you wanted backing you up when “it” hit the fan - and Diana WAS always around when it hit the fan. And don’t be misled by her small stature, she can certainly hold her own. She was nominated for selflessly giving the gift of life to her fellow brother in blue. Can you say ultimate backup?! She did so with such pure intentions and went above and beyond the call of altruistic duty!
Offering her kidney, a vital organ, to a colleague (who was facing death without a kidney transplant) who was just that- a co-worker - not a close friend or family member.
All of the candidates alongside Diana deserved the shout out PBA President John Rivera gave out to them during the awards ceremony! President Rivera also thanked all of you out there for doing the job that most citizens would not do.
I would like to personally thank all the members of the Love Fund Development Committee for their hard work and dedication to this cause. This is the second year the development committee has been established and we were able to raise substantial money for the Love Fund. As you know the Love Fund is used to assist officers and their families in their time of need. There are still a couple of open seats on the committee. We are always looking for philanthropists and/or corporate sponsors that support law enforcement, so if you are one, or know of one, please contact me at the PBA or e-mail me.
We hope to continue raising the bar each and every year from here on out. But remember, it’s not all about raising money, it’s about establishing relationships with ethical and like minded partners who have your best interest at heart!
Life After MDPD…Some Thoughts About Retirement
As I sit to write this article, it’s been a year since I retired from the department. As most of you know, I’ve stayed on with the PBA, and became a reserve officer with MDPD. I was recently asked while serving my reserve hours, “After all your years of service, why do you continue with the department, especially on your weekends?” Well, my loved ones ask me the same question! There are many reasons that come to mind. First, I’ve always loved the job (and still do!). But the most important one in my current position as PBA VP, it allows me to understand, firsthand, the challenges that our members face in today’s political climate ranging from social biases against officers to departmental staffing shortages. It also gives me the opportunity to interact with our members in their own work environment. This gives me a better understanding of our members’ struggles and it helps us fight for your needs. Even though I was promoted several times, I was never a company man. Retirement has afforded me a stronger platform to fight for your rights without having to worry about retaliation from command staff members, even though that never stopped me. And as such I plan on running again as your second VP, alongside President John Rivera. John is a workaholic and possesses a lifetime of knowledge in defending your rights. He’s an all inclusive leader that leads from the front and by example! The combination of my 36 plus years in law enforcement (both in a small and large department), staying current with the reserves, and more importantly - working directly with John, has granted me the opportunities to better serve you - our members! And that is an honor!
Heart Bill Continues at the Correctional Facilities …One of my most important tasks (and perhaps one of my favorites, but don’t tell anyone please) is visiting and educating you about your rights. The Heart and Lung Bill is one of them. Since our last informative sessions at TGK, we’ve had several requests for more sessions. I am in the process of scheduling them at Metro West and at our PBA hall. I’ll be co-hosting these informative sessions with one of the best and well versed attorneys in this field, Paul Kelly. Getting out to the correction facilities makes it easier for our members to attend, but selfishly it allows me to better understand your needs and struggles at the facilities. It also allows me to put a face to your names as I address your concerns. I plan to continue these informative sessions at all the correction facilities. Should you have any questions prior to these seminars please call me directly at the PBA. Remember, be informed so that you do not give up the rights we have worked so hard for on your behalf! I want you to always make educated decisions to better benefit you and your loved ones.
What Would You Like Us To Do Better (If Anything)?
While I pride myself to be part of an incredible team at the PBA (there are so many that contribute to the success and to protect your rights - and as I always say, there is no I in TEAM - and do we have the best one ever!) - I am interested to know what you think we can do better. Are we addressing your concerns? Are there informational sessions you think would be helpful to you? If yes - which ones? Would you like to learn more on how to maximize your pension/retirement plans? Please call me at (305) 593-0044 or drop me an e-mail.
Let Freedom Ring
On behalf of the PBA I want to wish everyone a happy and safe Fourth of July! We are blessed to live in a country that values freedom. I hope we all stop and give thanks to this Nation’s founding fathers and those who fought during the revolution. It is because of their bravery, sacrifice and foresight that we live in the amazing country that we do today. God Bless the USA!
In closing, please be informed on our issues and help us support those who support us. I welcome your comments at email@example.com or call me at: (305) 593-0044. If I don’t have the answer, we have seven in-house attorneys as well as an outstanding support staff who do!
Again, I thank you for your time and more importantly, for the job you do. Please make sure to protect yourself and your partner at all times. Remember, your PBA is always working to protect your rights, and we thank you for the opportunity to do so.
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