In a ceremony held yesterday in Tallahassee, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi announced the Law Enforcement Officer of the Year from a list of ten nominees from around the state, including North Miami Police Officer Niel Johnson.
Officer Johnson was nominated by the Florida Police Chiefs Association for successfully ending an April 14, 2015 wild chase that began in the City of Miami when a cab driver stole a police car while shooting at officers and innocent bystanders. After a chaotic chase through the streets of Miami-Dade County, the suspect was finally confronted and stopped by Officer Johnson in the North Miami neighborhood of San Souci. The suspect, later identified as 29-year-old Frantzy Armand, fired several rounds at Officer Johnson, who fired back and “neutralized the threat.”
“Officer Johnson’s extreme bravery and life-saving efforts brought closure to this chaotic event and was directly involved in protecting the lives of innocent people within the City of North Miami and throughout Miami Dade County.”
Congratulations to Officer Johnson for this well deserved honor.
Florida Highway Patrol Lieutenant Channing Taylor, a 22-year veteran, was named as the 2016 Officer of the Year. According to an article published yesterday in Capital Soup:
On June 14, 2015, while on patrol, Lieutenant Taylor noticed a truck being operated without headlights, approached the vehicle and asked the driver for her license. Suddenly, a male passenger produced a revolver and fired at Lieutenant Taylor, striking him once in the shoulder. Lieutenant Taylor took cover and drew his firearm. When the suspects attempted to flee the scene, Lieutenant Taylor left his covered position to gain a clear line of sight of the vehicle and its occupants and fired his service firearm, striking the male passenger and causing the vehicle to stop.
Lieutenant Taylor not only ended a life-threatening situation to himself, but his quick and decisive actions ensured the safety of the individuals around him. Lieutenant Taylor’s actions demonstrated that the safety and welfare of the public and the prevention of further injury was his main concern.
The other nine nominees, all previously selected as officer of the year by a law enforcement agency, were:
- Officer Christopher Ayala, Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services;
- Officer David Brady, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission;
- Deputy Emanuel Gonzalez, Osceola County Sheriff’s Office;
- Officer Jason Hutchinson, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission;
- Officer Niel Johnson, North Miami Police Department;
- Special Agent Travis Lawson, Florida Department of Law Enforcement;
- Investigator Jason Newlin, the State Attorney’s Office for the Second Judicial Circuit;
- Investigator Jayson Paul, Volusia County Sheriff’s Office; and
- Deputy Nicholas Worthy, Brevard County Sheriff’s Office.
Attorney General Bondi stated, “I am eternally grateful for these nominees and all our brave law enforcement officers who risk their lives daily to keep us safe. We cannot thank these officers enough for the sacrifices they and their families make to protect our communities.”
I couldn’t agree more!