In an awards ceremony hosted by the Grand Key Resort on April 22, 2021, Key West Police Chief Sean Brandenburg named Officer Santiago Perez Officer of the Year 2021 and Denise Richardson, Civilian Employee of the Year 2021.
Keys Federal Credit Union sponsors these honors, and Mary Lou Carn was on hand to present each recipient with a $500 check.
Officer Perez began his career with the Key West Police Department in 2017, having completed the Law Enforcement Academy at the College of the Florida Keys.
"Officer Perez genuinely cares about the community he serves," said Chief Brandenburg. "He can always be relied upon to go the extra mile, whether providing food and water to migrants or going out of his way to help someone in crisis."
Denise Richardson has been with the department since 2010. During that time, she has proven to be a dedicated professional who regularly comes in on her own time during the weekends to ensure payroll is completed and correct.
"Denise has gone above and beyond this year," said Chief Brandenburg, "stepping up to fill some extra vital roles when staff left. Denise has worked three jobs in one without falling behind on any tasks without any hesitation or complaint. Her dedication ensured that the department continued functioning at its highest level."