|February 18, 2015
Contact: Whitney Ray
Phone: (850) 245-0150
TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—Attorney General Pam Bondi today named Miami-Dade Police Department Officer Mario Gutierrez the Attorney General’s 2014 Law Enforcement Officer of the Year. The Attorney General recognized Officer Mario Gutierrez and nine other officers from around the state for their dedication to law enforcement and public safety.
“I am proud to name Officer Mario Guiterrez as the 2014 Law Enforcement Officer of the Year,” said Attorney General Pam Bondi. “Each nominee has exhibited extraordinary courage and bravery protecting the citizens of this state and I cannot thank them enough for the risks they take daily to keep Floridians safe.”
In October 2013, Officer Mario Gutierrez was on a routine patrol when he observed an individual tampering with the lid of an underground gasoline storage tank at a gas station. As he entered the parking lot, he discovered the subject started a fire on top of a valve that connected two 8,000 gallon gasoline storage tanks. Officer Guiterrez was stabbed multiple times in his arms, hand, chest, stomach and leg before gaining control of the situation. Because of his exemplary actions in this life-threatening situation, he prevented a potentially catastrophic event.
Each nominee for the Attorney General's award had previously been recognized as an “Officer of the Year” by a Florida law enforcement agency or organization. Officer Mario Gutierrez was nominated by the Florida Sheriffs Association. A selection committee appointed by the Attorney General considered the distinguished group of nominees from state agencies and organizations including the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, the Florida Prosecuting Attorneys Association, Mothers Against Drunk Driving and Victory Performance Consulting.
Additional 2014 Award Nominees:
- · Officer Manuel Bello, West Miami Police Department;
· Detective Miguel L. Garcia, Miami-Dade Police Department;
· Sergeant Andrew Litzell, Florida Highway Patrol;
· Sergeant George McLain, Stuart Police Department;
· Detective Anthony Mozealous, Florida Department of Financial Services, Florida State Fire Marshall’s Office;
· Investigator II Larry Payne, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services;
· Officer George Reynaud, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission;
· Deputy First Class Gregory Rittger, Orange County Sheriff’s Office; and
· Special Agent Andrew Watts, Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
For more information on the nominees’ accomplishments click, here