Two Holmes Beach police officers honored

Holmes Beach police officers, Det. Sgt. Brian Hall and Officer Michael Walker receive a Dedication and Professionalism award from Congressman Vern Buchanan during the 2019 Congressional Law Enforcement Awards for their work on a 2018 home invasion and burglary arrest. - Submitted | HBPD

HOLMES BEACH – Holmes Beach Police Detective Sergeant Brian Hall and Officer Michael Walker were honored at the 2019 Congressional Law Enforcement Awards on May 13.

They each received a Dedication and Professionalism award from Congressman Vern Buchanan for their work on a home invasion burglary arrest that occurred in 2018. Both officers also have been nominated as the Officer of the Year for the Holmes Beach Police Department for 2018.

On June 28th, 2018, Officer Walker and Hall with other officers responded to a home invasion burglary/aggravated battery on a person over 65 years of age that had just occurred. The victim had returned home to find a male suspect burglarizing her home. The suspect beat her unconscious and fled the residence. During the exhaustive investigation, security cameras were located on neighboring homes that captured the suspect and his vehicle. Following up on tips, the suspect was located and arrested based on the physical evidence and video. The suspect was interviewed by Hall with an assist from Detective Lieutenant Bourque from Longboat Key, and confessed to the crime.

After the arrest, it was learned that the suspect had a storage unit in Bradenton. A search warrant was executed on the storage unit. The storage unit was found to be full of stolen items from all over Manatee County, dating back to 2012. Due to the amount of property in the storage unit, the entire property crimes and crime scene divisions from the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office had to assist with the recovery. Officer Walker took it upon himself to go through numerous unsolved burglary cases from years prior and assisted Sergeant Hall in matching stolen items with the inventory recovered from the storage unit. Due to their efforts, at least six other victims were able to be reunited with their stolen property and several other cases were closed.

The Holmes Beach Police Department hired Hall and Walker in 2008 as full-time officers. Hall worked previously with the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office. They have both made the City of Holmes Beach a safer place to live, visit and conduct business due to their outstanding police work and dedication to these cases, according to Holmes Beach Police Chief William Tokajer.