MIAMI (CBSMiami) — A section of a Miami street was renamed Wednesday in honor of late Miami police Sgt. Angel Calzadilla.
The unveiling of “Angel Calzadilla Way” took place along Southwest First Street and 19th Avenue.
Calzadilla was well known in South Florida for his role as a public information officer, in which he often appeared on television as the face of the department, answering questions about the department and about criminal cases.
He was also a hostage negotiator, and senior executive assistant to the police chief during his 22-year career.
He was also well decorated. Among the numerous awards he received during his tenure were Officer of the Month (6 times), Rotary Club’s Officer of the Year (1998), and the Gold Lifesaving Medal (4 times).
Calzadilla was born and raised in South Florida. He joined Miami police in 1988, patrolling Little Havana. He eventually rose through the ranks. He also spearheaded he Teddy Bear Patrol project, a program that collects teddy bears and stuffed animals for officers to keep in their patrol cars and hand out to children in distress at scenes.
Angel Calzadilla passed away at the age of 48 of cystic fibrosis in 2011, and was highly respected and admired by his peers and the community.