At Thursday morning’s Business over Breakfast hosted by the Downtown Kissimmee Area Council (DKAC), five officers from the Kissimmee Police Department were presented with a very special Back the Blue Award, a new Law Enforcement of the Month Award sponsored by DKAC and the Kissimmee/Osceola County Chamber of Commerce. Recipients of the awards received a Challenge Coin designed by Robert Rosen, Chairman of the Kissimmee/ Osceola County Chamber of Commerce and a special gift from presented by Brianne Stefek, Chair of DKAC.

Corporal Charlie Popp – Back the Blue Award for January 2019

Corporal Charlie Popp exemplifies the term team player. He is currently assigned to the Major Crimes Unit and is responsible for investigating and supervising crimes against persons and violent crimes. He is a continual resource to everyone in the agency when it comes to assisting with investigations, technologic advice, and assists every division of the Department in their duties. Corporal Popp is the resident Tech Guru of the Kissimmee Police Department and has the knowledge, skills, and ability to be able to assist anyone with a cell phone, computer, camera system, or anything else in collecting evidence. He is a personable, kind, and approachable supervisor who exemplifies leading by example.

Officer Darius Benjamin – Back the Blue Award for February 2019

Officer Benjamin has distinguished himself in many situations and has proven to be dependable, thorough, and caring while performing his duties. One example is Officer Benjamin responded to a call where a male was exhibiting signs of excited delirium. Officer Benjamin recognized this to be a medical emergency and can at times turn violent. Officer Benjamin is large in stature, however, he used his negotiation skills and his calm demeanor to gain the male’s trust and get him the medical attention he needed. During the same period, Officer Benjamin responded to a mental health facility where a patient was irrational and barricaded himself. The staff at the facility is trained to deal with mental illness, but they were unable to gain a rapport with the individual. Officer Benjamin arrived and successfully gained the patient’s trust and complied with the staff at the facility with no injuries to anyone. Officers Benjamin is an effective police officer who also exemplifies what it means to use his calm demeanor to resolve situations peacefully.

Detective JP Antepara and Detective Justin Lunsford – Back the Blue Awards for March 2019

Detectives Antepara and Lunsford were involved in an investigation and were watching the suspect to document his movements. The suspect unexpectedly left his residence with his two young children. Based upon the criminal allegations against the suspect, Detectives Antepara and Lunsford needed to stop the vehicle with the suspect and not let him leave the area with the children. When they stopped the vehicle and approached the suspect, they found he had a handgun and was putting everyone in danger. Detectives Antepara and Lunsford reacted quickly and were not thinking of their own safety, but the safety of the children. The detectives immediately got the children out of the vehicle and brought them to safety away from the armed suspect. Their actions prove their dedication to the preservation of life and great risk to themselves.

Emerson Godin-Koehler – Back the Blue Award for June 2019

Officer Godin-Koehler responded to a traffic crash involving a motorcycle where the rider sustained serious injury to one of his legs. Officer Godin-Koehler arrived and began first aid to the injured motorcyclist. He calmed the injured person who was in obvious pain. Officer Godin-Koehler used a tourniquet to stop the bleeding and was able to stabilize the injured person and the traffic crash scene. Officer Godin-Koehler’s effort aided in the saving of this person from bleeding out, going into shock, and even dying.

Thank you to the brave officers of the Kissimmee Police Department for your continued dedication to serving and protecting the citizens of Kissimmee and for making a Positive Difference in Osceola County.