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 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.
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
- Welcoming Remarks by Outgoing ADL FL Regional Chair Steven L. Daniels
- Law Enforcement Award Presented to Chief O’Connell
MEMBERS OF THE AWARD SELECTION COMMITTEE
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.