Law Enforcement Officers, Resident Leaders, Businesses, a Church, and a News Reporter are Among those Recognized
On Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2017, the 68th Annual Crime Prevention Awards were held at the Wisconsin Club to recognize private residents and law enforcement professionals who, through their special contributions to crime prevention, have made the greater Milwaukee area a better place to live and work.
The event was organized by LISC Milwaukee and Safe & Sound, two nonprofit organizations dedicated to safe and thriving neighborhoods in the Milwaukee area, in partnership with law enforcement agencies. Representing LISC Milwaukee, Common Council President Ashanti Hamilton, and Katie Sanders, Executive Director for Safe & Sound emceed the event, with additional presentations by Mayor Tom Barrett, and a blessing by Sister Patricia Rogers of the Dominican Center.
In opening remarks, Common Council President Hamilton said, “We want to shine a light on those who take the lead on public safety, whether as a profession or as a citizen or both. We want to ensure the great efforts won’t go overlooked and underappreciated.”
Award sponsors, AAA Wisconsin, Nick Jarmusz, and the Salvation Army, Major Tim Meyer, also presented awards. There were 300 guests which included many elected officials and high ranking law enforcement professionals and nonprofit leaders.
Safe & Sound, Executive Director, Katie Sanders said, “The Crime Prevention Awards is one of my favorite events because it recognizes incredible people doing important work, often with no fanfare. Today was no exception; the recipients honored this afternoon are models of true commitment to the community and should inspire all of us to do more in service of others.”
The following awards and honorees were recognized at the luncheon:
AAA Wisconsin Traffic Safety Award to a Community Member was presented to Cynthia Campbell. Campbell changed her tragedy into triumph after she lost her oldest son Christopher in a fatal car crash in 2006. She is the founder of Love from Afar, the Christopher Allen Williams Foundation and the Parents Against Distracted Driving.
Outstanding Community Liaison Officer awards were presented to District 6 Police Officers Carlos Felix and Joshua Dummann. These officers were recognized for their ability to build relationships and partnerships within the community through special events and programs including National Night Out, Mexican Independence Day, Milwaukee Public Schools, Project Pay Back nuisance abatement, and cleanup projects.
Outstanding Block Club was awarded to Protect Our Property, a group of residents who turned a burglary into an opportunity to organize neighbors and improve their neighborhood through a variety of projects resulting in increased safety.
Outstanding Professional Contribution was awarded to Captain Boris Turcinovic. The Captain set up weekly listening circles at Sherman Park for youth and residents. After hearing teens needed more activities, Captain Turcinovic secured soccer goals and along with other officers, he painted a field and organized a “Sports Week” with local organizations, and he continues to devote long hours due to his passion for the community.
Outstanding Civilian Contribution was awarded to Shannon Sims. Sims is reporter for WTMJ-4 has led many efforts aimed at deescalating auto theft and robberies young people, as well as creating an event called “The Power of Her” designed to cultivate self-esteem, health, wellness and safety for young women.
Outstanding Faith Based Organization was awarded to Crossway Church. Led by Marques Jones, the church has partnered with the Milwaukee Police Department District 4 and the neighborhood to initiate youth programs at the neighborhood playground, a back to school give-away providing 500 backpacks to Havenwood’s residents, and area home repairs.
Outstanding Professional Contribution was awarded to Police Officer Guadalupe Velasquez. Officer Velasquez was recognized for her kind and personal approach, and for respectful and professional intercommunication with the community. Her meticulous organization and management of cases are valued by her district teams and community alike.
Outstanding Contributions by a Business was awarded to Direct Supply. Direct Supply has shown their commitment through reducing crime by working to provide Milwaukee Police Department District 4 with resources and volunteers. They have also built very strong relationships with community partners like Havenwoods Economic Development Corporation and Teen Challenge.
AAA Wisconsin Traffic Safety Award to Law Enforcement was presented to Sergeant Carrie Peters. Sgt. Peters received a grant from the High-Visibility Enforcement Pedestrian Grant funded by the WI Bureau of Transportation Safety, on behalf of the Marquette University Police Department to improve campus safety. Her efforts included soliciting incentives from local businesses to encourage positive behavior, organizing media appearances to promote the project and participating as a “decoy” to assist in enforcement efforts.
The Ron Aebly Award of Excellence presented by Anti Vehicle Crime Association of Wisconsin was awarded to Officer Cullin Weiskopf. Officer Cullin Weiskopf played an essential role in the success of preventing vehicle theft in Milwaukee through the coordination of a highly successful anti-theft program.
Outstanding Greater Milwaukee Partnership was awarded to the Sojourner Family Peace Center. The Center is one of the first co-located child advocacy and family violence centers in the country opened at 619 W. Walnut Street in Milwaukee. The new Family Peace Center is one of the first in the nation to provide comprehensive services for victims and families impacted by domestic violence.
The Salvation Army Chaplaincy Program Outstanding Individual Involved in Crime Prevention presented by The Salvation Army Chaplaincy Program was awarded to Lynne Hines-Levy. As a Chaplain, Hines-Levy dedicates herself to improving the lives of residents in MPD District 7 by working with Community Liaison Officers and leading faith-based initiatives, as well as providing personal support and care for persons experiencing trauma and violence.
Crime Prevention Advocate Award was awarded to Mary Lou Navarro. For 20 years, Mary Lou Navarro has advocated for Longfellow’s 900 students and their families. She uses education and advocacy to help empower families by helping them connect to resources like block clubs, financial literacy, and human trafficking prevention.
All Photos by Jon D. Riemann