It was standing room only in the banquet hall at the Fire Tower, Feb. 21 – and the atmosphere was one of optimism and hope. The new president of the Dade County Police Benevolent Association, Steadman Stahl, was sworn in by the Honorable Catherine Pooler.
“I am humbled and extremely thankful for everyone’s support throughout the election,” he said in his remarks during the gala event. He began by thanking all attendees who came out to support the Installation of Officers Ceremony – but especially Officer Jody Wright and Detective John Saavedra, who recently battled for their lives after being ambushed and shot multiple times, in separate incidents.
“It’s officers like these who inspire me to be the best leader I can for our members. And officers like Chris and Thomas Hodges, who, as young boys, lost their police officer father when he was killed in the line of duty. They give me the hope that a better future is around the corner, if only we have the courage to stand up and make a difference.”
President Stahl also thanked Mayor Carlos Gimenez for attendance the ceremony, noting the mayor’s cooperation and support already demonstrated within Stahl’s first 30 days in office – “something that might have been a pipedream just a couple months ago under the former PBA leadership,” said Stahl.
Stahl also thanked Miami-Dade County Commissioners Xavier Suarez, Rebeca Sosa, Jose “Pepe” Diaz, Daniella Levine-Cava, and Sally Heyman, “along with so many other dignitaries who took time out of their demanding schedules to come out and show their support.” He also thanked the numerous PBA Presidents from across the state who called in to congratulate him…”
Stahl spoke about the history and the legacy of the Dade County PBA, calling out the very first President, Charlie Maddox, who had travelled down from Tallahassee to be in attendance that night. He told how Maddox had first run the PBA out of the trunk of his car and collected dues in a shoebox. He thanked Maddox for taking the initiative to break away and start the organization back in 1963, “so that the Dade County PBA might become the powerhouse it is today.”
Lastly, Stahl acknowledged his Executive Board and Board of Directors whose diverse areas of expertise and proven work ethic promise “to help the organization run more efficiently than ever in serving the needs of the PBA membership,” he added.
According to Steadman, the PBA is a great organization, “but it had lost its way over the years. That is why I am determined to do my very best to make the PBA a place where everyone has an equal voice.
“I believe our best days are ahead of us and I am certain we will leave the PBA better than we found it,” Steadman stated.
Stahl says one thing is for certain, “Our new board has swung into action and are already paving the way for progress.”