Officer Erik Whitford, a SecurAmerica security officer assigned to The Orlando Housing Authority, recently received the Orlando Police Department’s “Good Citizenship Award”, presented by Police Chief Paul Rooney. The award was bestowed in a special ceremony based on Officer Whitford’s decisive actions that were taken in two separate incidents to which he responded this year.
In the first incident, while on duty at an Orlando Housing Authority community, Officer Whitford observed a vehicle in the parking area that appeared to have damage to the steering column. Suspecting that the vehicle may be stolen, he documented the vehicle information, maintained visual surveillance on the vehicle, and prepared to notify the Orlando Police Department (OPD). Before he could do so, he observed two subjects approach and enter the vehicle and leave the property along with another vehicle. Officer Whitford immediately relayed the vehicle information, direction of travel, and subject descriptions to police. Officer Whitford remained on scene and relayed additional information with respect to the subjects and the other vehicle that was observed. His fast thinking and detailed observations led to the recovery of two stolen vehicles and the arrests of the subjects involved.
In a second incident, Officer Whitford noticed a large group of individuals gathering inside one of the communities. Suspecting that something troublesome may be developing, he discretely approached to within listening distance of the group and overheard the several individuals discussing plans to shoot a police officer. He remained out of view and monitored the group while notifying OPD. When police arrived, the group fled in a vehicle. Officer Whitford maintained visual contact and relayed subject and vehicle descriptions to police. Based on his observations, OPD officers were able to quickly locate the suspect vehicle and upon the ensuing vehicle stop, an initial search of the vehicle revealed a handgun hidden under the front seat. It was also determined that the same vehicle was earlier used in a shooting in the area. A thorough search of the vehicle revealed two additional firearms, including one that was stolen.
The citation awarded to Officer Whitford read, “For his keen observational skills and cooperation which led to the recovery of two stolen vehicles, three firearms, and the arrest of a violent felon, Erik Whitford is hereby awarded the Orlando Police Department’s Good Citizenship Award”.
In addition to receiving recognition and the appreciation of the Orlando Police Department, SecurAmerica awarded Officer Whitford, the company’s “Legendary Service Award” , which recognized Officer Whitford’s “dedication to duty and outstanding performance that led to the swift apprehension and felony arrest of several dangerous criminals and the recovery of multiple stolen vehicles and firearms.” SecurAmerica is proud to salute Officer Whitford’s valiant efforts and commends him for his unwavering commitment to the residents of the Orlando Housing Authority, in keeping with the highest traditions of SecurAmerica's Core Values.