Awards & Recognitions
2020 OFFICER OF THE YEAR
Corporal Ronald Betts
Detective Corporal Ronald Betts began his career with the Cocoa Beach Police Department in 2006, following his service in the U.S. Army. During his time with the Department, he has served in the following capacities: Patrol Officer, Field Training Officer, Breath Test Operator Agency Inspector, Drug Recognition Expert, Detective and Corporal.
Corporal Betts was assigned to the Criminal Investigations Division in 2016. He is responsible for assisting the Detective Sergeant with the day-to-day operations of the Division, while maintaining an active caseload.
Some of Corporal Betts’ highlights that earned him this recognition are as follows:
On November 12, 2019, Cocoa Beach Police responded to Fawlty Towers Motel in reference to a shooting. It was determined that a guest of the motel had sustained a fatal gunshot wound to the chest. The Criminal Investigations Division was notified and responded to the scene to assume the investigation. Corporal Betts was assigned as the lead investigator. He had multiple crime scenes, few witnesses present, and unidentified suspects who had fled the area. Over the course of two weeks, all suspects involved in this incident were identified and the motive behind the crime was determined. Hindering his investigation, however, was the COVID-19 pandemic, which slowed his efforts to place these suspects in custody.
Corporal Betts worked diligently for many months with the State Attorney’s Office and our law enforcement partners to obtain a vast amount of evidence to sustain charges for 1st Degree Felony Murder with a Firearm and Attempted Armed Robbery with a Firearm Inflicting Death. All four of the suspects were taken into custody for these charges and were subsequently indicted by a Grand Jury.
Additionally, while investigating this homicide, Corporal Betts was able to use information obtained during this case to charge the suspect who fired the weapon, with an unrelated crime of Armed Robbery that occurred several months prior.
On August 17, 2020, Corporal Betts was notified of an ongoing investigation at a local hotel where two adult males were associating with four juvenile females. The initial investigation indicated that sexual offenses may have been committed. Corporal Betts responded to the scene and assumed the investigation. Through interviews with the juveniles, Corporal Betts was able to determine that the crime of Lewd and Lascivious Acts and Exposure of Sexual Organs did occur. He also determined that the event had been recorded on a cellular phone and obtained the video as evidence. The suspect was subsequently arrested. One juvenile, female victim was also found to be reported missing out of Palm Bay and returned to her family.
Corporal Betts routinely takes time to work with newer detectives, assisting them with their cases and providing direction in complex investigations. He also volunteered to begin reviewing all case reports generated by the Patrol Division in an effort to educate officers on areas of improvement to strengthen their work product.
For this and so much more, Detective Corporal Ronald Betts is Cocoa Beach Police Department’s 2020 Officer of the Year!
2020 TELECOMMUNICATIONS OFFICER OF THE YEAR
Communications Shift Lead Steve Macko
Communications Shift Lead (CSL) Steve Macko is a five year veteran of the Cocoa Beach Police Department. He was selected, in part, for his actions and quick response on a 9-1-1 hang-up call that resulted in an individual being taken into protective custody after an attempt to jump from her 7th floor condominium. Comments that the caller made led CSL Macko to believe that something was not right and he immediately sent officers to her location. Upon the officers’ arrival, they made entry into the residence just as the woman placed one of her legs over the railing of her balcony. Had it not been for CSL Macko’s intuition and quick thinking, this woman may have taken her life.
CSL Macko is also recognized for his dedication, initiative, strong work ethic, and his willingness to always be a team player who continues to improve his skill set for the betterment of the Department and safety of the officers and firefighters.
CSL Macko is always willing to take on new tasks and assignments. Throughout the pandemic, he has assisted the Communications Manager with providing Senior City Staff with continual updates of the current number of COVID-19 positive cases in the City. CSL Macko is also the Alternate FCIC Agency Coordinator; he verifies all entries into FCIC/NCIC for accuracy; assists with reviewing record files for monthly validations and makes any necessary modifications to those records if needed; and maintains the police and fire radio inventory.
While handling all of these responsibilities, CSL Macko continues to stay focused on pursuing his Bachelor’s Degree in Organizational Management at Eastern Florida State College.
For this and so much more, Communications Shift Lead Steve Macko is Cocoa Beach Police Department’s 2020 Telecommunications Officer of the Year!