Melbourne Police Department Recognizes Exceptional Service and Heroism
Pictured with their awards, from left to right, are Civilian Employee of the Year Priscilla Carrera, Officer of the Year Christopher Cote, and Communications Officer of the Year Kate Brooks.
Each year the Melbourne Police Department recognizes one police officer, communications officer and employee who stand out for their heroism, excellence, and selfless and compassionate service to the public.
The 2016 Melbourne Police Department award recipients are:
Officer Christopher Cote - 2016 Melbourne Police Officer of the Year
Officer Cote has gone above and beyond the call of duty in support of the Melbourne Police Department’s mission. In addition to being recognized as Officer of the Year, Cote received the following commendations:
• In January 2016, Cote was awarded a Commendation Bar for his actions off duty while at a restaurant with his family. Cote saw an elderly man choking on food. Cote quickly performed the Heimlich maneuver dislodging the food from the man’s throat.
• In May, Cote was awarded a Certificate of Commendation for his role during the investigation of a bank robbery. Cote, after learning the description of the suspect and his car, found the suspect and attempted to stop him. A vehicle pursuit ensured. At the end of the pursuit the suspect was taken into custody and is currently awaiting trial in federal court for his crimes.
• In December, Cote received a Certificate of Commendation for his actions when a group of officers responded to a distraught male threatening to kill himself and a child.
• Also in December, Cote and his area partner [Officer Sigety] were awarded a Certificate of Commendation for three incidents. The first incident was a citizen contact resulting in the arrest of a convicted felon who was concealing a firearm and the recovery of another firearm dropped by a male walking away from the scene. The second incident was a traffic stop resulting in an arrest for possession of a firearm in commission of a felony, trafficking in oxycodone, and possession of marijuana. Third, was the result of an in-progress burglary, which lead to a vehicle pursuit as the suspects attempted to flee. The vehicle crashed, and Officers Cote and Sigety chased both suspects and arrested them.
Kate Brooks - 2016 Communications Officer of Year
Kate Brooks has been selected as the Melbourne Police Department’s Communications Officer of the Year for 2016. Examples of Kate’s performance are:
• In August she was awarded an Honorable Service Bar and Employee of the Month after she had received a call of gunshots. Within a brief time another call was received of a gunshot victim arriving at the hospital. As the victim was rushed into surgery little was known about the incident. A while later another call was received, Brooks spoke with the caller and heard him make self-incriminating statements about the shooting. The subject disconnected after becoming agitated, and Brooks called him back. She was able to maintain a calm demeanor and keep the subject talking. He told her about the shooting, and she was able to maintain an open dialogue until a detective was able to speak with him. As a result of her actions, a violent felon was arrested in a timely manner.
• In December Brooks was awarded a Certificate of Commendation and Employee of the Month regarding her actions during a call about an in-progress burglary involving multiple suspects. Brooks was able to provide details of the suspects and give and document accurate information in the midst of busy radio traffic and several officers in foot pursuits. Brooks’ involvement assisted with the linking of property found on one of the suspects to at least two other burglaries. Also in December in another incident, Brooks dispatched a shots fired call where a vehicle was chasing another vehicle while actively shooting. Brooks remained calm and professional as she provided detail updates to responding units who eventfully stopped both vehicles. The shooter was arrested.
Priscilla Carrera - 2016 Civilian Employee of the Year
Priscilla Carrera was selected as the Civilian Employee of the Year for 2016. Priscilla’s accomplishments for the year include:
• In June, Carrera was awarded the Chief’s Achievement Bar and Employee of the Month after she had discovered essential FDLE firearms documentation had not been completed in the last two years, and without it most of the officers’ law enforcement certifications would be suspended if not corrected within three weeks.
• Additionally, and as a result of her work with obtaining documents for the FDLE certification project, she worked with the Lead Firearms Instructor to schedule officers to requalify to ensure the entire department was in compliance and current.