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The Villages
Saturday, February 24, 2024

Wildwood Police Department pays tribute to its officer of the year

An ability to organize successful events earned Wildwood Police Officer Crystal Acevedo the department’s officer of the year award.

The award was one of several presented by Police Chief Randy Parmer at Monday’s City Commission meeting.

“She’s got a great passion for serving the community,” Parmer said of Acevedo, often known by her nickname, Ace.

Officer Crystal Acevedo was awarded the plaque by Chief Randy Parmer
Officer Crystal Acevedo was awarded the plaque by Chief Randy Parmer.

She has organized 40 events including a 5K run for autism, a drive to collect hygiene products and a food drive last November.

Parmer said the food drive, which fed 117 families, was so successful that the department had enough groceries to resemble a Publix warehouse.

Acevedo also received a plaque from the Wildwood American Legion post.

Darlene Connor, a member of the department’s Citizen Observer Program (COP), received the Team Impact award for her fundraising efforts.

Parmer also presented awards to Cody’s of Brownwood, Golf Central, Southern Oaks Golf Course and McGrady’s Pub for their support of the Christmas with a Cop Golf Tournament. Tournament winners were Sgt. Joe Mejias, Detective Adam Barker, Officer Garth Layne and Joe Swisher.

In a quarterly report, the police chief said the department’s focus on traffic enforcement is on education, not writing tickets.

Last November, for example, he said officers made 52 traffic stops resulting in 29 oral warnings, 14 citations and nine written warnings.

Despite Wildwood’s growing geography and population, Parmer said the average response time is less than three minutes.

He said the department has a dozen vacancies and four pending hires compared to 20 vacancies a year ago.

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