Wilton Manors Police Chief to be Honored by ADL

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) is proud to honor Paul O’Connell, Chief of Police, Wilton Manors Police Department, with its prestigiousDoris and Murray Felton Excellence in Law Enforcement Award during the League’s annual Florida Regional Board Meeting on March 26, 2014 at the Westin Hotel in Ft. Lauderdale.

A true leader committed to justice and equality, Chief O’Connell will be recognized for his extensive proactive measures to overcome prejudice and restore integrity within the Wilton Manors Police Department by changing the mission statement of the agency, promoting diversity within the workforce, and unequivocally affirming that there is no place for hate or bigotry in the City of Wilton Manors. Chief O’Connell exemplifies ADL’s values of fairness and diversity and has made a genuine difference in his police department and community by fostering a safe and bias-free environment.
“This prestigious award is not about me as the Police Chief; it is about us, the entire Police Department,” stated Chief O’Connell.  “It signifies how far we have come and validates the direction we are traveling.  This has been and will continue to be a team effort to serve the Wilton Manors community.”
“We are proud to recognize Wilton Manors Chief of Police Paul O’Connell with the 9th annual Anti-Defamation League Doris and Murray Felton Excellence in Law Enforcement Award,” stated Michael Freeling, Esq., Bloom & Freeling Attorneys At Law and ADL FL Law Enforcement CommitteeChair. “ADL’s long standing partnership with law enforcement on local, regional, statewide, national and international levels is unparalleled in any other human or civil rights organization.  Chief O’Connell’s efforts to combat bigotry and hatred and to strengthen police/community relations through his actions and deeds have been exemplary and he will join a growing list of investigative and prosecutorial leaders recognized by ADL in Florida for standing up and demonstrating a strong commitment to combating hate motivated behavior wherever it exists.”
Chief O’Connell played a significant role in changing the culture of the Wilton Manors Police Department from one that was profoundly tarnished, to one that can be viewed as an outstanding example of what is right with police work in the United States today. The bigoted actions of the prior Police Chief and Command Staff that did the City of Wilton Manors a disservice for five years left the agency in dire need of strong leadership. 
Chief O’Connell was chosen by the ADL Award Selection Committee made up entirely of active and retired law enforcement professionals along with high-ranking ADL lay leaders, and chaired by retired Broward Sheriff’s Office Captain Richard F. Wierzbicki. 
“As a past award winner, I am honored to have been chosen as Committee Chairperson and work alongside some of the most highly respected Florida Sheriffs, Police Chiefs, Security Executives and State Attorneys that agreed to serve and further the mission of the ADL. All the nominated individuals were recognized by their respective agencies for excelling in such areas as providing safe school environments for all students, introducing or expanding anti-bullying initiatives, human trafficking awareness and using superior investigative techniques in crimes involving hate and bias as possible motives,” stated Captain Richard F. Wierzbicki (ret).
About the Doris and Murray Felton Excellence in Law Enforcement Award
There are two important sides to Law Enforcement: the sworn officers that put their lives on the line every day to protect Americans from the threat of extremism, terrorism and hate, often our community’s first line of defense; and the prosecutors, who work tirelessly to ensure the offenders receive the punishment accorded by law.  The Anti-Defamation League’s Excellence in Law Enforcement Award recognizes both the INVESTIGATIVE and thePROSECUTORIAL roles of law enforcement, identifying those members who are so deeply committed to their work that they have gone above and beyond expected efforts to protect the community.
The Anti-Defamation League’s Excellence in Law Enforcement Award is unique in the country.  No other private organization publically recognizes leadership in law enforcement in the areas of hate crimes, domestic terrorism, civil rights and public-private partnerships quite like the Anti-Defamation League. 
ADL greatly values its long-standing partnership with the men and women of law enforcement; giving this award is one way we demonstrate the depth of our appreciation.

Ø  Press Opportunity 6:15pm - 6:50pm
-          6:15pm-6:30pm Networking
-          6:30pm -6:35pm Welcoming Remarks by Outgoing ADL FL Regional Chair Steven L. Daniels
-          6:35pm – 6:50pm Law Enforcement Award Presented to Chief O’Connell
Law Enforcement Members
Rick Wierzbicki, Chairperson; Dan Alexander, Chief of Police, Boca Raton Police Department; Ric L. Bradshaw, Sheriff, Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office; Jane Castor, Chief of Police, Tampa Police Department; Steve Casey, Executive Director, Florida Sheriff’s Association; Jerry L. Demings, Sheriff, Orange County Sheriff’s Office; Donald F. Eslinger, Sheriff, Seminole County Sheriff’s Office; Charles F. Kaplan, FL. Regional 13 Vice President, ASIS International; Al Lamberti, Sheriff, Broward County Sheriff’s Office (Ret.); Paul C. May, Sheriff, Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office; Amy Mercer, Executive Director, Florida Police Chiefs Association; Doug Muldoon, Chief of Police, Palm Bay Police Department; Marci Horwitz Rex, Assistant State Attorney, Fifteenth Judicial Circuit; Hon. Katherine F. Rundle, State Attorney, Eleventh Judicial Circuit; John H. Rutherford, Sheriff, Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office; Larry Schroeder, Chief of Police, Delray Beach Police Department (Ret.); Mike Scott, Sheriff, Lee County Sheriff’s Office; Cecil E. Smith, Chief of Police, Sanford Police Department; John Sullivan, Jr., Executive Liaison, Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office; and Breezye Telfair, Assistant State Attorney, Eleventh Judicial Circuit.
ADL Law Enforcement Committee Members
Michael Freeling, Chair; Wayne Black; Stanley Foodman; Guy Fronstin; Tracey Grossman; Marc Reiner; and Jeffrey Weinstock.
ADL Regional Board & Staff
Steven L. Daniels, Florida Regional Chair; Hava L. Holzhauer, Florida Regional Director; and Robert Tanen, Florida Associate Regional Director.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is one of the nation’s premier human relations and civil rights organizations, fighting anti-Semitism and bigotry of all kinds. 
Visit our websites: www.adl.org/ florida.adl.org

Obama To Latinos: Enrolling In ACA Won't Affect Undocumented Relatives

"The thing that I’ve really been trying to emphasize is, you are eligible if you are a U.S. citizen, or you’re a person who's legally here," Obama said on the Spanish-language network. "And just because another family member does not have documents, they cannot sign up for health care, but there is no sharing of this data or information with, you know, immigration officials. And so I don't want people to be discouraged from going ahead and getting health insurance, even if it’s just for some of the members of their family. They need to know that immigration will have nothing to do with this process."
The president's remarks on "El Bueno, La Mala, y El Feo" came in the final days of Obamacare's open enrollment period, which ends on March 31. His administration has made an all-out push to sign up younger and healthier people in particular.

Statement by the President on the Fourth Anniversary of the Affordable Care Act

Since I signed the Affordable Care Act into law, the share of Americans with insurance is up, and the growth of health care costs is down, to its slowest rate in fifty years – two of the most promising developments for our middle class and our fiscal future in a long time.

More Americans with insurance have gained new benefits and protections – the 100 million Americans who’ve gained the right to free preventive care like mammograms and contraception, the eight million seniors who’ve saved thousands of dollars on their prescription drugs, and the untold number of families who won’t be driven into bankruptcy by out-of-pocket costs, because this law prevents insurers from placing dollar limits on the care you can receive.

More Americans without insurance have gained coverage.  Over the past four years, over three million young Americans have been able to stay on their family plans.  And over the past five and a half months alone, more than five million Americans have signed up to buy private health insurance plans on HealthCare.gov – plans that can no longer discriminate against preexisting conditions or charge you more just because you’re a woman or a cancer survivor – and millions more have enrolled in Medicaid.

It is these numbers, and the stories behind each one of them, that will ultimately determine the fate of this law.  It is the measurable outcomes – in savings for families and businesses, healthier kids with better performance in schools, seniors with more money to spend because they’re paying less for their medicine, and young entrepreneurs who’ll have the freedom to try new jobs or chase that new idea – that will ultimately offer more security and peace of mind to more Americans who work hard to get ahead.

Last month, after her first wellness visit under her new insurance plan, a woman from Colorado shared with me what that peace of mind meant to her. “After using my new insurance for the first time, you probably heard my sigh of relief from the White House,” she wrote.  “I felt like a human being again.  I felt that I had value.”

This is what’s at stake any time anyone, out of some outdated obsession, pledges to repeal or undermine the Affordable Care Act.  And that’s why my administration will spend the fifth year of this law and beyond working to implement and improve on it. 

If you’re an American who wants to get covered – or if you know someone who should – it’s now last call for 2014.  March 31st is the deadline to get covered this year.  So check out HealthCare.gov or call 1-800-318-2596 to see what new choices are available to you, and get covered today.

Impacts of climate change in South Florida

The Hon. Dean Trantalis (member of Fort Lauderdale's City Commission) delivered a great presentation on the impacts of climate change in South Florida. There is a growing awareness of the risks associated with rising sea levels to our local communities. A recent half-hour documentary, “South Florida’s Rising Seas,” produced by FIU School of Journalism and Mass Communication (SJMC), mentions that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers predicts sea levels in South Florida will rise from three to seven inches by the year 2030 and from nine to 24 inches by the year 2060.WPBT2 first aired the documentarynuary 15th. The full documentary may be seen below

2014 Broward Democratic Party Unity Dinner

Highlights from the 2014 Broward Democratic Party Unity Dinner, featuring guest speakers Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Congressman Steny Hoyer, Florida governor candidate Nan Rich, and hosted by Broward Democratic Party Chairman Mitch Ceasar (March 15, 2014)

INVITATION from School Board Member Dr. Rev. Osgood on LGBTQ youth

On behalf of School Board Member Dr.Rosalind Osgood and The School Board of Broward County, you are invited to join us on for the below community conversation. There will be light refreshments served at, conversations begin at . Please join us as we discuss how to take better care of our LGBTQ youth.


Town Hall Meeting with Congressman Ted Deutch

Ted Deutch

You're Invited to a
Town Hall Meeting
with Congressman Ted Deutch (FL-21)

Monday, March 31, 2014at 7:00 pm
Coconut Creek Community Center
1100 Lyons Road
Coconut Creek, FL 33063
Join Ted for a discussion on the issues facing our South Florida community
and the nation at large.

To ensure adequate seating, please RSVP here

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