HBPD celebrates its own

HBPD celebrates its own
Mayor Judy Titsworth, Chief Bill Tokajer and Maria Walker celebrate the promotion of Sgt. Mike Walker. - Kristin Swain | Sun

HOLMES BEACH – Police officers celebrated an addition to their ranks, the promotion of one of their own and gave a standing ovation to a retiring officer during the Aug. 27 city commission meeting.

Chief Bill Tokajer first introduced Officer Francis Rodriguez. Rodriguez comes to the HBPD after serving nearly 22 years with the NYPD and retiring from New York as a lieutenant. He also served briefly with the Sarasota Airport Police before coming to Holmes Beach. Rodriguez relocated to the area with his wife and children.

“Officer Rodriguez is a welcome addition to the Holmes Beach Police Department, and we’re happy to have him on board,” Tokajer said before swearing in Rodriguez.

Next, officers celebrated the promotion of Mike Walker to the rank of patrol sergeant. Though Walker’s promotion was effective Aug. 24, he also was sworn in to his new position during the Aug. 27 meeting. Walker has served the city since 2008 and was named Officer of the Year in 2009, 2013, 2016 and 2019. He also received a Congressional Award for Dedication and Professionalism in 2016 and 2019.

His wife Maria and 10-month-old daughter Kinsley were on hand for the promotion ceremony. After being sworn in, Walker’s wife Maria stepped up to pin his new gold shield on his uniform.

The end of the ceremony was bittersweet as officers, elected officials and community members gave a standing ovation to retired Officer Alan Bores, who was recognized for his service to the community.

He came to the HBPD in 2015. As a result of a June 2018 traffic accident, Bores was forced to retire early from service with the HBPD due to injuries sustained while on duty. During a routine traffic stop, Bores’ vehicle was struck from the rear by a drunk driver, totaling his vehicle and damaging another officer’s vehicle. Bores sustained serious injuries from the crash.

“This selfish and preventable act by this drunk driver has changed the direction of Officer Bores and his fiancé Anna’s lives forever,” Tokajer said. “Officer Bores’ injuries have tragically ended his law enforcement career way too soon.

“This is a loss that will be felt by this community, our police department and personally by me. It has been my honor to have Officer Bores as an officer and to call him my friend.”

“This is a perfect example of why we take drunk driving so seriously in Holmes Beach,” Tokajer added. “Drunk drivers change the lives of people forever.”

Prior to his retirement, Bores was a drug recognition expert and DUI and traffic enforcement specialist with several commendations to his name including the 2016 HBPD Officer of the Year award recipient.