On Tuesday evening, April 21, 2015, Chief Maas of the Sunny Isles Beach Police Department, representing the Miami-Dade Chiefs Association and Mr. Juan Roca anchor sponsor for the annual Law Enforcement Officer Awards (L.E.O.), appeared before the Bal Harbour City Council to make a special presentation to one of Bal Harbour’s finest.
Detective Hector Gonzalez is a special person indeed. He and his son Christopher, an adult male who has Autism, have been the catalyst behind extensive training for police officers in how to handle calls involving autistic individuals, whether adult or juvenile. To date, more than 4500 officers have been trained from over 70 agencies. This training has been instrumental in the ability of officers to learn, identify and handle autistic situations more efficiently and professionally.
Detective Gonzalez was honored on March 7, 2015, for his work by winning his category for the L.E.O. Award in Support Services. What he did next was even more admirable and compelling. He presented his statue (award) to his son Christopher, as a gesture of thanks for all he had done to help his “dad” with the training. You see, Christopher is an integral part of that much needed and important training. And so in an act of total unselfishness and love from a father to his son, Detective Gonzalez honored his son.
As a result the L.E.O. Foundation and Dade Chiefs of Police Association learned of this great human interest story. It was decided then to do something for only the 2nd time in the 15 year history of the L.E.O. Awards. A duplicate statue was awarded to Detective Gonzalez in front of his City Council by Mr. Juan Roca and Chief Fred Maas so that both father and son would be recognized for their special efforts. It was a very special time for not only the Gonzalez Family but for all of Bal Harbour and its police department, as such a positive recognition made all of them so very proud. Congratulations to ALL and a special expression of gratitude to Mr. Juan Roca and the Roca family for their generosity and sponsorship.