The North Miami Police Department’s Officer of the Month” for September 2011 is Officer Donald Blanchard, who is currently assigned to the Traffic Safety Unit of the Community Policing Section. Sergeant Pete Dominguez nominated him for his alertness and quick response in the following case:
On August 23, 2011, Officer Blanchard, while patrolling the west-end of the City, observed what he initially believed to be an undercover police vehicle in the area of 125th Street and N.W. 7th Avenue. This black police style Ford Crown Interceptor, with flashing lights, was directing vehicles off to the side of the road by engaging his siren and air horn in order to proceed through a crowded intersection.
This appeared quite unusual to Officer Blanchard, since he had not heard any emergency calls being transmitted over the police frequency. As Officer Blanchard’s curiosity heightened, he continued to watch the vehicle as it traveled north on 7th Avenue and then made a u-turn at NW 126th Street. At that point, Officer Blanchard was able to see into the vehicle and he noticed that the driver was wearing a white tank top and not a police uniform. Officer Blanchard immediately initiated a traffic stop and calmly requested for back-up. As Officer Blanchard cautiously approached the driver’s side door, he found the subject behind the steering wheel. After conducting a records check, he found it not only revealed he was not a police officer, but it showed him to be a criminal with an extensive arrest history. Some of his past arrests included such violent crimes as false imprisonment, burglary, resisting a police officer and probation violations. The subject was immediately taken into custody and his vehicle was seized. Although there had been no recently reported criminal acts committed with the vehicle, the likelihood of this career criminal using this vehicle as a tool to perpetrate a serious crime seemed inevitable. As a result of Officer Blanchard’s alertness and street savvy, a dangerous criminal was taken to jail and a police look-alike vehicle removed from our roadways.
Officer Blanchard was chosen as Officer of the Month for September 2011 and will be honored at the Greater North Miami Chamber of Commerce luncheon, held monthly at the Miami Shores Country Club, on Wednesday, October 26, 2011 at Noon.