The North Miami Police Department’s “Officers of the Month” for October 2011 are Officer Donald Blanchard and Officer Ralph Diaz. Officer Blanchard is assigned to the Traffic Safety Unit of the Community Policing Section and Officer Diaz is assigned to the Patrol Section, Day Shift. Sergeant Bill Prieto nominated them for their diligence and professionalism in the following case:
On October 9, 2011, Officers Blanchard and Diaz responded to a Strong Arm Robbery (purse snatch) that had just occurred. Officer Blanchard arrived on scene first and spoke to the victim and witness, obtaining a description of the subjects and the vehicle they were driving. Officer Blanchard put out a BOLO for the subjects and vehicle over the police radio. Officer Diaz arrived on the scene and continued the investigation. Officer Blanchard then went looking for the subjects/vehicle.
A block away from the robbery, Officer Blanchard observed a vehicle matching the description of the one used in the robbery, unoccupied in the roadway. He positioned himself tactically where he could observe the vehicle and surrounding area. Minutes later a subject came near the vehicle causing Officer Blanchard to approach and affect a Felony Take Down of the subject. The victim and witness positively identified the vehicle as the one that had been involved in the robbery, but could not identify the subject. As the subject was being interviewed, Officer Diaz observed another subject, who matched the description of the subject that had committed the Strong Arm Robbery, taking an interest in the proceedings. Officer Diaz approached the subject and, while speaking to him, detained him. The victim/witness positively identified him as the one who had committed the robbery. After taking the subject into custody, the first subject then confessed to being the driver. He admitted driving and watching subject two commit the purse snatch and fleeing the area when he jumped in the car.
Officers Blanchard and Diaz were chosen as Officers of the Month for October 2011 and will be honored at the Greater North Miami Chamber of Commerce luncheon, held monthly at the Miami Shores Country Club, on Wednesday, November 23, 2011 at Noon.