Just in time to kick off Labor Day, The Palm Beach Police Foundation hosted a luncheon on August 29th at the Palm Beach Police Department to celebrate its recent promotions and retirements.
Among the special guests that attended were Founding Policemen’s Ball Chairmen Eileen and Brian Burns, Palm Beach Mayor Gail Coniglio, Town Manager Kirk Blouin, Town Council President Dani Moore and her mother, Lesly Smith, Greg Kridos from the State Attorney's office, and Jennifer Recarey, the Foundation's former administrator. The celebrants were joined by family members, friends and colleagues.
After catching up over sandwiches and salads, everyone proceeded to Town Hall for the Promotion & Retirement Ceremony. Deputy Chief Ann-Marie Taylor welcomed the guests and acknowledged the distinguished officers starting with naming the "Officers of the Month" that included Christopher Murphy (April 2018), Jonathan Hanning (May 2018), Robert Mastrangelo (June 2018) and Sgt. Paul Alber (July 2018).
Advancing officers were then recognized. John Scanlan was promoted from Detective to Sergeant, an experience shared with his wife and three children who were in the audience. In Team 1, Officer Michael Koerner was transferred from Patrol to Detective Bureau, and Officer Robert Mastrangelo was assigned to Team 3 Motorcycle Patrol Unit. Communications Department staff members Kayla Licata, Brittany McGary and Mark Neilson all received promotions.
Deputy Chief Taylor then turned the podium over to Kirk Blouin, who honored the retiring officers. He recognized Officer Adam Pina and cited his "extraordinary work ethic, attitude, his service to our country and to the Town of Palm Beach." Blouin said that Pina received many honors over the years, including the Foundation's "Officer of the Year" in 2013 at The Policemen's Ball. Pina's wife, Sherry Madden, a former Palm Beach Police Officer, was there to mark the importance of the occasion. It was a bittersweet parting for Pina, who had been badly injured while on patrol and is still recovering, but Pina said, "I still have much to do and hope to continue working in law enforcement from the civilian side."
Things came full circle when Blouin invited Deputy Chief Taylor to the podium to salute her for her service and congratulate her on her retirement. It had been just a year ago that Blouin promoted Taylor from Captain to the Department's second most senior position. Taylor joined the department in 1994 as a telecommunicator and had risen through the ranks. "Ann-Marie is one of the few who truly understands what it's like to walk in the shoes of a leader of this organization, and she performed exemplary, " Blouin said.
Taylor said her retirement was a humbling opportunity to reflect on a career she knew she always wanted. "I wanted to be a police officer since age five. There is no greater agency than this Police Department and I feel so privileged to retire from it. I am so grateful to the PBPD, to The Palm Beach Police Foundation, and to my family, who is here with me today. My cup is full," Taylor said.
Greg Kridos from the State Attorney's office came with a gift of acknowledgement to present to Taylor, with whom he has a professional history. "Your command staff is excellent and it keeps the community safe. You define rock star," he said.
Lisa Loomis, the Foundation's Executive Director, presented Officer Pina and Deputy Chief Taylor with commemorative shadow boxes from the Foundation for their years of service, saying, "we hope you'll always remember us and we will never forget you."
Sgt. Jennifer Sandman and Officer Carlos Rodriguez, who recently retired, were in absentia.
After the Ceremony, the celebration continued in the Conference Room, where a large cake bearing the Palm Beach Police Department logo, was served.
The Palm Beach Police Foundation extends hearty congratulations and best wishes to the officers that were promoted and to those who retired.