Commissioner Barbara J. Jordan presented a resolution during the County Commission's February 1 meeting to further assist the families of fallen Miami-Dade police officers Roger Castillo and Amanda Haworth. Commissioner Jordan is encouraging Miami-Dade County employees to donate the value of their annual leave time to the Police Officer Assistance Trust (POAT), which would be reserved for the officers' families. The County Commission passed the item unanimously.
Officers Castillo and Haworth were tragically killed on January 20, 2011 while serving a warrant to a murder suspect. Support from the community poured in as law enforcement and residents mourned the loss of the two officers, who each had over two decades of experience under their belts. The POAT, established in 1989, quickly created trust funds for the officers' families. Castillo is survived by his wife and three sons; Haworth leaves behind her life partner and son.
"How could anyone not be moved and saddened by the thousands who mourned Officers Castillo and Haworth at American Airlines Arena, and for their families who must now pick up the pieces without their loved ones?" said Commissioner Jordan. "Miami-Dade County lost two officers who put their lives on the line every day to keep our community safe. County employees are united in ensuring that the Castillo and Haworth families receive whatever support they need to get through these difficult times. The donation of annual leave is another way employees can easily give."
The legislation authorizes and directs the Mayor to allow the donation by County employees of up to two hours of annual or holiday leave time to POAT funds established for the families of Officers Castillo and Haworth in this fiscal year. In addition, employees can donate two hours of leave per fiscal year for any funds established in the future for the families of any Miami-Dade County Police Department sworn personnel. Forms will be made available for employees to make their donations, explaining the purpose of the POAT and how much leave can be donated in a fiscal year.
The POAT is a non-profit organization operating within Miami-Dade County that provides assistance to law enforcement officers and their families in times of crisis or critical need. Its Board of Trustees is comprised of representatives from the different levels of law enforcement in Miami-Dade County - federal, state, county, and municipal - as well as members from the Miami-Dade County business community and law enforcement-related fraternal and labor organizations.
For more information on this legislation, please contact Commissioner Jordan's office at 305-375-5694.