CPD Community Report
2nd Quarter 2022
April 1 - June 30
Drug Agents Disrupt Upper Level Drug Operation
A 2021 drug investigation has ended with an 11 -year and 16-year federal prison sentence for two upper level drug dealers that moved kilos of methamphetamine from Cocoa to Daytona Beach. Agents with the Special Investigations Unit worked with the DEA and FBI to build a case against Kenneth Douglas, 24, of Daytona Beach, and Tom Thompson, 48, of Cocoa. Last month, Douglas was sentenced by a U.S. district court judge in Orlando. Douglas and Thompson had moved thousands of dollars in illegal drugs through Cocoa and surrounding areas up to Daytona Beach.
According to court documents, beginning on March 1, 2021, and continuing through March 24, 2021, Douglas and a Thompson conspired with each other to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine. During the investigation, an undercover law enforcement officer purchased controlled substances from Douglas and Thompson, who Douglas had been supplying. Douglas was held responsible for more than 1.4 kilograms of methamphetamine that he had conspired to distribute in the Brevard and Volusia County areas.
On May 17, 2021, agents with the Drug Enforcement Administration executed a search warrant at Douglas’s residence and located fentanyl, four digital scales, ammunition, and a stolen Glock 9mm pistol. Douglas fled from the residence on foot but was quickly apprehended by pursuing agents.
Douglas’s co-defendant, Tom Thompson, a/k/a “China,” previously pleaded guilty for his role in this case. On December 27, 2021, Thompson was sentenced to 11 years and 4 months in federal prison. “The combined efforts of our agents working with the federal agents made it possible to remove a significant quantity of illegal drugs and dangerous weapons from our community,” said Chief Evander Collier IV. “I’m proud of the progress that is being made to make our neighborhoods even safer.”
This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Cocoa Police Department, and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Beatriz Gonzalez.
DEA RECOGNIZES COCOA AGENTS
The hard work and dedication from our Special Investigations Division has received the attention of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)! They just sent our agents a certificate of appreciation for the work in helping to remove countless illegal drugs and firearms from the community and surrounding areas in Central Florida. Donald Garrett, Acting Deputy Special Agent in Charge, Miami Field Division stated in a memo to the special agent in charge of the Miami Field Division, “Their dedication to duty, professionalism, commitment, exceptional investigative skills resulted in the arrests of two suspects that were responsible for the acquisition and distribution of multiple kilograms of crystal methamphetamine on a weekly basis in the Brevard and Volusia County areas.”
Our community is safer because of their work and we are so proud that they are receiving this recognition.
National Drug Take Back Day
CPD collected 43 lbs. of drugs in April as part of the National DEA Drug Take Back Day. It's an opportunity to clean out medicine cabinets so these drugs don't end up in the wrong hands. Combined with what was already collected in our secured drug disposal boxes at the police department, we will be turning over 277 lbs. of drugs for to the DEA on Monday for safe disposal. If you missed it, CPD has two, secured drug collection boxes in our main lobby. You can drop off unwanted medications (no chemo meds or needles) anytime Monday - Friday 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. The next collection event will be in September.
Two New Officers Sworn In
Chief Evander Collier administered t he oath of office to two new police officers Monday morning. The officers were sworn in during a special ceremony in the presence of family and friends, members of the police department staff, members of the Cocoa City Council, and city leadership.
Officer Jonathan Medina, 29, is originally from Las Vegas, Nevada. He and his family moved to Cocoa Beach in 2021 to pursue a better quality of life. Medina is married with three sons. He graduated the Criminal Justice Academy at Eastern Florida State College where he is continuing to pursue his associate degree in criminal justice.
Officer Clyde Hilliard III, 23, is originally from Spring Valley, New York. He is a 4th generation law enforcement officer. In 2014, he moved to Florida with his family when his father retired after serving as a corrections officer for 26 years with the Department of Corrections in Westchester County, New York. He was inspired to become a police officer because of his family history of law enforcement officers and the wisdom and advice of a neighbor, along with the desire to engage with the community and be a positive representative for law enforcement. Hilliard graduated from the Criminal Justice Academy at Eastern Florida State College. He is engaged to be married and has a 3-year-old black lab mix. “By accepting this oath of office today, you are committing to being part of the cultural change in this agency and in the law enforcement profession as a whole,” said Chief Evander Collier IV. “I believe you will work with honesty, integrity, accountability, and professionalism that will define each of you as an exemplary police officer. Congratulations.
The new officers will spend the next few months in training, learning the department’s policies and procedures. They will then be placed with a field training officer to learn all operational procedures of the job. Upon successful completion of the training, they will be assigned to a squad and deployed for solo patrol duties.
Hero K9 Maverick Finds Endangered Runaway
K-9 Maverick, a 2-year-old Western Shepherd recently certified for patrol duties didn't take long to locate a missing runaway child with special needs. At 7:30 PM Sunday, May 8th, patrol officers received a call about the missing child. K-9 Maverick was in the area, not yet on duty, but responded to assist. Maverick, a newly certified patrol canine, is trained to track for missing persons. After Maverick was given a scent article, he began to track from the child’s bedroom window where he is believed to have fled the home. K9 Maverick went west along the front of the residence and then turned north towards the back of the property. K9 Maverick then gave a proximity alert. Maverick was air scenting and then went nose down again and tracked towards Pineda St. Maverick then turned north again on Pineda St. There was a parked vehicle along the sidewalk up against a privacy fence. Maverick went around the front of the vehicle and found the child hiding between the fence and the vehicle. The child was not injured and was safely returned home where proper care and attention was given.
Employee Spotlight: Officer Cierra Johnson
Officer Cierra Johnson joined the Cocoa Police Department in May, 2020. She is originally from Loughman, a small town in Polk County, Florida. She is the youngest of two daughters. She gradated the police academy at South Florida State College in Avon Park, Florida and is currently attending SFSC online working towards a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice technology.
In October 2021, Officer Johnson was assigned to the Community Engagement Unit and has taken on the role of PAL basketball coach. Officer Johnson has made it a priority to teach and mentor the children through the game of basketball where they can learn important life skills that go far beyond the game itself.
Here is more about Officer Johnson, in her own words!
Why did you become a police officer?
I truly felt it was a calling for my life, I’ve always wanted to be an important person and life has taught me that the most important people are the ones who support you, care for you, and the ones who will be there when you need them. Being a police officer, I get to do just that and make a difference in the community.
What do you hope to teach the kids in PAL program?
I want to teach the kids that there is an abundance of good in the world, and there is always someone to care and to listen. I also want them to value themselves as important individuals and know that they are capable of doing anything they set their minds to. Most importantly, I want to teach them to go for the lifestyle they want to live, dream as big as they can because success has no color or gender and if they put in the hard work and do the very best they can, they will succeed.
How has your coaching experience been so far?
I always love to play Sports as a kid and even if I wasn’t the best player on the team I always worked the hardest and put my heart into everything I did, so being able to push a player to their potential gives me a sense of joy because I know they will look back on these years and remember the experience they had whether they won or lost the game. Coaching for Cocoa PAL and also assisting with Emma Jewel Charter Academy gave me an experience that not only triggered the happiest memories of my life but also gave me insight as to how much just being there for a child makes a difference to them, cheering them on and telling them they did a good job. You can see their eyes light up because they are giving you the best effort they can.
Share a little about your graduation speech and what it means to be a role model/mentor
Being asked to give a graduation speech for some of the most amazing students I have ever worked with really touched my heart. While preparing my speech I realized it would forever be a part of their memory. I then realized that no matter how much of a mentor or role model I am to them, I cannot go through every life struggle with them or be there for every moment of their lives. So, in my speech, I gave the best thing I could ever give them, words of advice. The kids never knew that I have failed in areas of my life, that I have been homeless before and that I have made decisions I wasn’t proud of. The person they know and understand is someone who is strong, dedicated, and positive. I grew into that person who they all loved and respected. So, I wanted to give them all the answers to the test of life in the areas where I failed because I truly want to see them succeed and go on to make beautiful lives for themselves.
What are your career goals?
I want to progress in the ranks because I feel I can truly make a difference within a community by growing and taking on different leadership roles, so I plan to be an outstanding leader as a sergeant, lieutenant and maybe one day as a chief.
Any other noteworthy nuggets about your life, personality, favorite food, colors, etc?
I love to sing and I love music of all kinds. My favorite color is maroon. My favorite football team is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. I absolutely love to cook and I love to ride roller coasters, no matter how high or how fast they go. I have a mature personality when I’m in a formal setting but outside of work and school I love to play video games and be annoying to my kids and family. I’m a huge jokester and I like to make people laugh.
District Breakdowns of Reported Cases for 2nd Quarter 2022
District Breakdowns of Reported Cases for 1st Quarter 2022.
2ND Quarter Traffic Summary
The number of traffic crashes in the 2nd quarter was down 1.38% with 215 total crashes reported. There were 218 crashes reported during the same time period in 2021.
During the 2nd quarter of 2022, officers increased traffic enforcement throughout the city. As a result, the number of documented traffic violations increased 14.13% compared to the 2nd quarter of 2021. During the 2nd quarter of 2022 there were 420 documented traffic violations. Of these, 361 received citations, 46 received written warnings, 12 were cited for DUI, and one involved a parking violation.
The goal of traffic enforcement is to educate divers in order to improve driving behavior in hopes of reducing the number of traffic crashes. In most cases, officers have discretion on whether to issue a citation.
The areas in the city where most traffic crashes occurred:
SR-520 between U.S. 1 and Delannoy Ave.
These areas have the most amount of vehicle traffic throughout the day. Officers are conducted proactive traffic enforcement in high frequency crash locations in hopes of reducing the number of crashes. Officers are also conducting traffic enforcement in local neighborhoods where residents have complaints of speeding and other traffic related issues.
Back to School Supplies Drive
July 30th 9 a.m. - 2 p.m., Cocoa Walmart, 2700 Clearlake Rd.
Cocoa PD Community Engagement Unit Officers will be collecting school supplies at this location. Our School Supplies Shopping List on Amazon. All online orders will ship directly to the Cocoa Police Department.
Back to School Supplies Backpack Distribution
Friday, August 5th 5 p.m. - 7 p.m., Provost Park, 400 S. Varr Ave. Supplies will be distributed. Food Truck and fun activities for the kids.
First Day of School
The first day students return to school for the 2022-2023 school year is Wednesday, August 10th. Patrol officers will be conducting traffic enforcement in school zones during the morning and afternoon start and finish times. Please remember to drive safely and obey all the speed limits, especially in school zones.
Chief's Community Walk
Wednesday, August 17th 5:30 p.m. District 1 at Polaris and Jackson St. Chief Collier with members of his leadership team, officers, employees and volunteers will walk the area of Polaris St. starting at Jackson St. to meet the residents, have a casual conversation, and discuss any issues of concern that residents want addressed. The public is welcome to walk with us.
Save the Date: Space Coast Police K9 Competition
The Cocoa Police Department is partnering with United States Specialty Sports Association (USSSA) to bring you the 2022 Space Coast Police K9 Competition. This year the event will be held at Space Coast Stadium on Saturday, November 19, 2022. Gates open at 4 PM. Competition begins at 5 PM. Mark your calendars and plan to join us in November! Interested sponsors and/or vendors should contact Yvonne Martinez, 321-243-7812 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Crime Prevention Tip: Lock Your Vehicles
During the summer months, reports of vehicle burglaries tend to increase. A majority of reported vehicle burglaries are the result of vehicles left unlocked and valuables left inside. Please remember to:
- Lock your vehicles.
- Remove all valuables, ESPECIALLY FIREARMS.
- Park in the garage if available and remember to close the garage door.
- Park in a well lighted area.
- Close all doors and windows.
- Set vehicle alarm if equipped.
- Be aware of crime trends happening in and around your neighborhood by connecting with your police department. Informed residents are better able to prevent the opportunity for crime. Share this newsletter and subscribe to your police department's information platforms such as Nextdoor and See It. Say It. Send It Cocoa Police Department Facebook Page Cocoa Police Department Twitter page, and Cocoa Police Department Instagram Cocoa Police Department YouTube.