In a ceremony at the Community Room on Monday evening, March 26th, Police Chief Don Hunter promoted officer Hector Diaz to sergeant and appointed officers Paul Keys, Joe Mack and Nick Ojanovac to be detectives. The actions were replacements for vacancies, and no new personnel were added to the Police Department. Family members, fellow officers, city councilmen Jerry Gibson and Wayne Waldack, former Chief Thom Carr, and a number of members of the Marco Island Police Foundation attended the ceremony. The newlydesignated officers were each “pinned” with a new badge by a family member.
Sergeant Hector Diaz has 19 years of professional law enforcement experience, and is one of the five original remaining officers of the Marco Island Police department when it was established in August, 1999. He was the first, and only, K-9 officer of the Department, and was often seen on the island with his partners Sampson and Alan. Sergeant Diaz is a Field Training Officer, certified rifle patrol officer and is qualified in a number of other areas. After his K-9 assignment he wasassigned to patrol as well as the marine unit. He has a marine captain’s license.
Detective Paul Keys is another of the remaining “original five” Marco Island police officers. He is experienced in diverse areas, including 23 years in law enforcement, six years in emergency medicine and private business information technology. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Administration from the University of Pittsburgh, and is a member of the FBI/Florida Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and the Florida Child Abduction Response Team. He is a Florida certified firefighter, crime prevention practitioner and is a specialist inseveral other disciplines.
Detective Joe Mack has been with the Marco Island Police department for just over one year but has 26 years of work in law enforcement. Prior to coming to Marco Island, Detective Mack was a Patrol Division Lieutenant, Sergeant and patrol officer. He served six years as detective in New Jersey, and attended the FBI Advanced Criminal Investigation Course. He studied Criminal Justice at Somerset Community College and holds a second-degree black belt in Taekwondo.
Detective Nick Ojanovac has eight years of police experience and one year in the Marco Island Police Department. Heserved on the Honor Guard and is a field-training officer. Detective Ojanovac has advanced training in death or injury investigations, drug task forces and hostage negotiations. Detective Ojanovac graduated with honors in Criminology from the University of Florida.
Chief Hunter emphasized the varied training and experience of the newly appointed sergeant and detectives, and noted that they would be devoting a considerable amount of time to crimes against children, drug activities and gang matters, as well as other issues. In commending each one, he also noted that, “… something else is coming” and that it will be a benefit to the community.