TCPAAA News


TCPAAA Announces 2015 Award Winners
August 2015

The annual Tallahassee Citizen’s Police Academy Alumni Association (TCPAAA), 501c3, event known as the “Police Ball” was held Saturday, August 15 at the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM. The annual Police Ball is more than the organization’s signature fundraising event. As in preceding years, the annual Police Ball is the event during which an officer, nominated by his or her peers, is presented with the Walter A. McNeil Distinguished Service Award, also known as the TCPAAA Officer of the Year Award.

This year, the TCPAAA presented a new award, created in honor of one of the founding members of the Tallahassee Citizens’ Police Academy Alumni Association, Mr. Gerald Jaski. Gerald was a founding member of the TCPAAA and dedicated a tremendous amount of time and talent to making the organization a success. Gerald served on the TCPAAA board for over 12 years, was an active member of the community, a tireless fundraiser for the association and fully dedicated to the support of local law enforcement. Gerald Jaski consistently went above and beyond what was required or expected of him to serve the community. The Gerald Jaski “Beyond the Call” Award is presented to an officer nominated either peers or a citizens in the community based on an exemplification of going above and beyond their official duty in serving the community. The Walter A. McNeil Distinguished Service Award is only awarded to sworn officers and nominations are only accepted from employees of the Tallahassee Police Department.

Each year, a committee made up of TCPAAA members is selected to review and select the finalists and recipients. Each year proves to be a challenge to pick just the finalists, let alone the winner. Members of the selection committee wish to remain anonymous but stressed it was nice to see examples of the great work our officers are doing every day in our community. One stated “It is nearly impossible to pick a winner, there are so many deserving nominations.” TCPAAA President, David Pienta stated it is hard to narrow the awards down to just one winner. “Every year it is a real challenge to pick just one winner. We are happy to put on the ball so we can let all the officers have a good time and let them know they are appreciated.”

The 2015 winners are:

Gerald Jaski “Beyond the Call” Award

Officer Nick Lowe

Officer Lowe serves on the Community Relations Unit. Nick is completely passionate about his job. Nick has dedicated much of his free time to running the annual golf tournament that helps raise funds for the Police Unity Tour. In 4 years, he has help raise over $80,000 for the cause. He was named the top fundraiser for by the local chapter. Nick volunteers for countless organizations and groups which range from fundraisers to helping coach youth athletics, Officer Lowe helps our community in many ways.

Walter A. McNeil Distinguished Service Award

Officer Michele Yown

Officer Yown has served in the United States Naval Reserve prior to her law enforcement career in Tallahassee. Officer Yown started at the Florida State University Police Department. Officer Yown is credited with also expanding Florida State University’s training program. Officer Yown gained certifications in driving, firearms and defensive tactics. Officer Yown is also credited with bringing Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) training to Tallahassee. Officer Yown came to TPD in 2003. In her 12 years at the Tallahassee Police Department, Officer Yown has served as a field training officer, Coordinator for the Citizen’s Police Academy and was promoted to Sergeant before retiring. Officer Yown missed her job and returned to TPD, where she again is serving as a Field Training Officer.

Tallahassee Citizens Police Academy Alumni Association Announces 2015 Award Finalists
July 2015

The annual Tallahassee Citizen’s Police Academy Alumni Association (TCPAAA), 501c3, event known as the “Police Ball” will be held Saturday, August 15 at the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM. The TCPAAA is pleased to announce that for the first time the 2015 Police Ball has been completely sold out! We appreciate your continued support and enthusiasm for this event. The annual Police Ball is more than the organization’s signature fundraising event. As in preceding years, the annual Police Ball is the event during which an officer, nominated by his or her peers, is presented with the Walter A. McNeil Distinguished Service Award, also known as the TCPAAA Officer of the Year Award.

This year, the TCPAAA will be presenting a new award created in honor of one of the founding members of the Tallahassee Citizens’ Police Academy Alumni Association, Mr. Gerald Jaski. Gerald was a founding member of the TCPAAA and dedicated a tremendous amount of time and talent to making the organization a success. Gerald served on the TCPAAA board for over 12 years, was an active member of the community, a tireless fundraiser for the association and fully dedicated to the support of local law enforcement. Gerald Jaski consistently went above and beyond what was required or expected of him to serve the community. The Gerald Jaski “Beyond the Call” Award is presented to an officer nominated either peers or a citizens in the community based on an exemplification of going above and beyond their official duty in serving the community. The Walter A. McNeil Distinguished Service Award is only awarded to sworn officers and nominations are only accepted from employees of the Tallahassee Police Department.

TCPAAA President, David Pienta, stated this is the least the board could do to honor Gerald. “Gerald is a big reason that we can stand here today and say how successful TCPAAA has been over the years. We wanted to capture his passion and work ethic with the creation of this new award.”

Each year, a committee made up of TCPAAA members is selected to review and select the finalists and recipients. Each year proves to be a challenge to pick just the finalists, let alone the winner. Members of the selection committee wish to remain anonymous but stressed it was nice to see examples of the great work our officers are doing every day in our community. One stated “It is nearly impossible to pick a winner, there are so many deserving nominations.”

The 2015 finalists are alphabetical order by last name:

Gerald Jaski “Beyond the Call” Award

Sgt. Anitra Highland
Sgt. Highland is the Sargent in charge of the Community Relations Unit. On top of supervising five employees, Sgt. Highland oversees the police cadets, interns from the universities, the Citizen’s Police Academy, and the Police Athletic League. This year, Sgt. Highland helped organize a 5K race to raise funds for PAL which cumulated in a total of over $11,000 for PAL. She continues to work diligently for our community and is now organizing a literacy educational program at the Walker Ford Community Center.

Officer Nick Lowe
Officer Lowe serves on the Community Relations Unit. Nick is completely passionate about his job. Officer Lowe has dedicated much of his free time to running the annual golf tournament that helps raise funds for the Police Unity Tour. In 4 years, he has help raise over $80,000 for the cause. He was named the top fundraiser for by the local chapter. Nick volunteers for countless organizations and groups which range from fundraisers to helping coach youth athletics, Officer Lowe helps our community in many ways.

Officer James B. Martinez
Officer Martinez provides near constant communication to the residents of apartments that are part of his district. Apartment managers are appreciative of the regular patrols and the communication from Officer Martinez. Apartment managers credit Officer Martinez with improving the quality of life at these complexes.

Walter A. McNeil Distinguished Service Award

Officer Cleveland Allen
Officer Allen has been volunteering for the past 17 years as a cook for a local homeless shelter. Officer Allen is also actively involved in his church. Officer Allen serves as a minister, has organized a benevolence program and mentors local youth. Officer Allen has served on the Parent Teacher Organization board for local elementary schools. Officer Allen serves as the current Tallahassee Police Department Chaplain, is a member of the Tallahassee Police Department honor guard, and serves on the Tactical Apprehension and Control team.

Investigator Greg Wilder
Investigator Wilder has been with the Tallahassee Police Department since 1998. Investigator Wilder has made a large impact his fellow officers through his role as a field training officer (FTO). Investigator Wilder also worked in drug interdiction and was the handler for K-9 Rusty. Investigator Wilder and Rusty worked together to seize thousands of pounds of narcotics worth millions of dollars off the streets of Tallahassee. Investigator Wilder has worked in the Special Victims Unit, Robbery Unit, and now is currently in Homicide. Investigator Wilder’s experience and attitude has now made him the lead trainer for new members of the Criminal Investigations Division.

Officer Michele Yown
Officer Yown has served in the United States Naval Reserve prior to her law enforcement career in Tallahassee. Officer Yown started at the Florida State University Police Department. Officer Yown is credited with also expanding Florida State University’s training program. Officer Yown gained certifications in driving, firearms and defensive tactics. Officer Yown is also credited with bringing Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) training to Tallahassee. Officer Yown came to TPD in 2003. In her 12 years at the Tallahassee Police Department, Officer Yown has served as a field training officer, Coordinator for the Citizen’s Police Academy and was promoted to Sargeant before retiring. Officer Yown missed her job and returned to TPD, where she again is serving as a Field Training Officer.

Tallahassee Citizens Police Academy Alumni Association Announces Drawing Winners!
June 2014

FSU is pleased to announce the winners of the drawing for the One-O-One Dinner and the Golden Eagle Golf Package. Winners were chosen the evening of June 21st at the annual Police Ball. Lee Hudson won the One-O-One dinner and Scott O’Brien won the golf package. Many thanks to One-O-One and Golden Eagle Country Club for helping make the Police Ball such a success!

Tallahassee Citizens Police Academy Alumni Association Announces Walter A. McNeil Distinguished Service Award Winner
June 2014

TCPAAA would like to congratulate Investigator Paul Osborn! All three finalists were extremely deserving of this honor. The selection committee had an extremely difficult time narrowing this award down to one person. We would like to thank all of those who were nominated, especially our three finalists.

Tallahassee Citizens Police Academy Alumni Association Announces Award Finalists
May 2014

The annual Tallahassee Citizen’s Police Academy Alumni Association (TCPAAA), 501c3, event known as the “Police Ball” will be held Saturday, June 21 at the University Center Club on the campus of Florida State University from 6:30 PM to 11:00 PM. The Latin Soul Orchestra will provide live music for dancing. A sit down dinner is included. Tickets are available at www.tcpaaa.org, via email (tcpaaapoliceball@hotmail.com), or by calling 850-556-5347. Tickets are $50 per person. The last day to buy tickets is June 14th.

The annual Police Ball is more than the organization’s signature fundraising event. Each year, as a part of the event, the Walter A. McNeil Distinguished Service Award, otherwise known as the TCPAAA Officer of the Year is awarded to a deserving officer. This award recognizes an officer that has gone above and beyond the call of duty, demonstrated extraordinary service, and made a significant contribution to our community.

Every year it is a difficult process to select the top three, let alone the winner. This year proved to be the most difficult yet. Sixteen nominations were submitted. The selection committee noted that they believe this to be the most difficult selection process in the history of the award due to such highly qualified police officers, each deserving of recognition. The winner will be announced at the Police Ball on June 21st.

After diligently reviewing each nomination, the selection committee is pleased to announce the following three finalists. Finalists are listed in alphabetical order, by last name.

Officer Donald Bracci. Officer Bracci was honorably discharged from the military where he served as a Bomb Technician in Explosive Ordinance Disposal unit in the U.S. Army prior to joining the ranks at TPD. Officer Bracci has been praised for not only responding to calls but for going over and beyond the call of duty and following up on those calls. Instead of finding a temporary fix in response to calls for service, Officer Bracci looks for a good permanent fix, showing ownership in the process. Officer Bracci has found assistance for those less fortunate using resources outside of TPD and law enforcement. Officer Bracci even gave his own shoes to someone struggling to stay warm in the winter during a call for service.

Officer Scherri Bryant. Officer Bryant is heavily involved in juvenile justice in our community. In addition to being a police officer, Officer Bryant is heavily involved with RAD training, and serves as a volunteer track coach for a local AAU track club. She is a volunteer basketball coach in the Police Athletic League (PAL). Officer Bryant competes nationally in the Police Olympics. Recently she has worked on expanding the Anti-Gang Rally initiative. Officer Bryant is a board member for the Leon County Juvenile Justice Board, Urban League Youth Advisory Board (Chair), Capital City Youth Services Board. Officer Bryant has been asked to speak at national conferences in regards to reducing crime in Black Communities. She has made multiple presentations at local community centers as well as the Juvenile Assessment Resource Center to youth regarding healthy lifestyles and making good decisions.

Investigator Paul Osborn. Investigator Osborn actively seeks out cases to investigate. His initiative has resulted in him making 48% percent of the arrests for his squad. Investigator Osborn is also the lone investigator for Internet Crimes Against Children. Investigator Osborn has helped work in three state-wide operations this past year, traveling to other jurisdictions. While participating in these operations, Investigator Osborn continued to work his cases assigned by TPD. He continuously volunteers to help his squad mates with their duties. Investigator Osborn routinely works long hours to accomplish the mission. Investigator Osborn also participates in community events such as “Lauren’s Kids, Walk a Mile in My Shoes”, Ronald McDonald House, Big Bend Victim Advocate Coalition, and the March of Dimes.

These short paragraphs only scratch the surface when it comes to the contributions of these three officers. Each of them are deserving of recognition for their hard work, professionalism and dedication to TPD, the law enforcement profession, and our community. The Tallahassee Citizens Police Academy Alumni Association salutes all of the officers that were nominated. Thank you all for your hard work. Please join us on June 21st at the Police Ball to honor all of our law enforcement, especially our three finalists and the winner of this prestigious award.