2016-10-12 / Features

Hispanic Heritage Award To NYPD Department Chief


District Attorney Brown presented NYPD Chief of Department Carlos M. Gomez with his office's 2016 Hispanic Heritage Award for his unwavering dedication to public service, his efforts to reduce crime in Queens County and throughout New York City and his commitment to strengthening the relationships between the police and the communities that they serve. District Attorney Brown presented NYPD Chief of Department Carlos M. Gomez with his office's 2016 Hispanic Heritage Award for his unwavering dedication to public service, his efforts to reduce crime in Queens County and throughout New York City and his commitment to strengthening the relationships between the police and the communities that they serve. Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown announced on October 5 that the New York City Police Department’s Chief of Department Carlos M. Gomez has been named the recipient of the District Attorney’s 2016 Hispanic Heritage Award for his unwavering dedication to public service, his efforts to reduce crime in Queens County and throughout New York City and his commitment to strengthening the relationships between the police and the communities that they serve.

District Attorney Brown said, “This year we pay tribute to Chief Carlos M. Gomez, the highest ranking Hispanic officer in the NYPD. Chief Gomez has been with the NYPD for over 30 years. He served in a variety of precincts citywide, including five in Queens.”

The Hispanic Heritage Award was presented to Chief Gomez, who became the first Latino Chief of Department in the NYPD’s history, during a reception that afternoon in the District Attorney’s Kew Gardens office. The annual observance is a celebration of the rich culture and heritage of the Hispanic and Latino communities.

District Attorney Brown added, “Our Latino population here in Queens represents 28 percent of our 2.3 million residents. It is a population that enriches every aspect of life in our county and adds to its vibrancy and vitality.”

Carlos M. Gomez was just a child when he and his father immigrated to the United States from his native Cuba. He grew up in Queens, and attended college at the State University of New York Old Westbury, where he earned a bachelor of arts degree in criminal justice. Gomez joined the New York City Police Department in July 1984. He started his illustrious career walking a beat as part of the Neighborhood Stabilization Unit in the Upper Manhattan and soon afterwards was transferred to the 103rd Precinct in Jamaica. In April 1989, Gomez was promoted to sergeant, and that was just the beginning. He rose through the ranks and on September 16, 2016, became the 39th Chief of Department.

Throughout Chief Gomez’ 32 years in law enforcement, he has served in a variety of precincts, including the 101st, 102nd, 103rd, 106th and 115th – all in Queens. Before becoming the Chief of Department, Chief Gomez held the rank of Chief of Patrol in which he oversaw the implementation of several citywide initiatives aimed at reducing crime, as well as strengthening the relationships between police and the community.

Chief Gomez has been married for 29 years to Lisa Gomez and they are the proud parents of two daughters, Jenna and Danielle.

National Hispanic Heritage Month started off as a week-long celebration in 1968. The observance was expanded to a month-long celebration in 1988 (from Sept. 15 - Oct. 15). During this month, America celebrates the traditions and culture of U.S. residents who trace their roots to Mexico and the Spanish-speaking nations of Central America, South America, the Caribbean and Spain. September 15 was chosen as the starting point for the celebration because it is the anniversary of independence of five Latin American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on September 16 and September 18, respectively.

Last year’s Hispanic Heritage Award was presented to the first Latina President of the Queens County Women’s Bar Association and former Queens Assistant District Attorney, Lourdes M. Ventura for her numerous accomplishments and tireless leadership. The previous year’s recipients have been the Metropolitan Latin American Law Student Association (MetroLALSA), for its work bringing together the Latino student law communities from 13 different New York and New Jersey law schools, the Hon. Carmen Beauchamp Ciparick, a retired Senior Associate Judge of the New York State Court of Appeals, who was honored for her distinguished judicial and legal career that has spanned more than four decades. Prior award recipients include: Joseph A. Zayas, Judge of the New York State Court of Claims, in 2012; Richard M. Gutierrez, the President of the Queens County Bar Association, in 2011; Assistant District Attorney Mariela Palomino Herring, Chief of District Attorney Brown’s Gang Violence and Hate Crimes Bureau, in 2010; Dr. Eduardo J. Martí, President of Queensborough Community College, in 2009; the Honorable Fernando Camacho, Administrative Judge of the State Supreme Court, Queens County, Criminal Term, in 2008; New York State Assemblyman Jose R. Peralta, of the 39th Assembly District, in 2007; and the Latino Lawyers Association of Queens County received the inaugural Hispanic Heritage award in 2006.

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