HAINES CITY – Winter Haven Police Department officers won first place in the “Hoops & Heroes” fundraiser basketball tournament, held Oct. 2 to benefit the Ridge Community High School Lady Bolts basketball team.
WHPD beat out Haines City Police Department officers, a Polk County Sheriff's Office deputy team, a PCSO detention team, Bartow Police Department officers and officers from the Lakeland Police Department to win the trophy Friday night.
The event also featured family-friendly activities such as bounce houses, face painting, raffles and performances.
WHPD detective Shaquille Hayes shined against his fellow law enforcement officers, driving to the basket, scoring quite a few points and playing well on defense, also.
Hayes was named 2019 WHPD Officer of the Year in April for his role in helping to solve the murders of Winter Haven residents Latoya Owens and Channel Zhane Brown on Oct. 6, 2019. Hayes’ work on the case was strong enough for the state attorney to put together a death penalty case against the suspect. According to court documents, it took around two weeks for Haynes to interview at least a dozen witnesses and secure DNA evidence, after which an arrest was made.
“He did an extremely professional job working with the team on the double-homicide, working long and hard hours to reach the end goal – an arrest,” Winter Haven Assistant City Manager T Michael Stavres said during the April awards ceremony.
The Hoops & Heroes event was sponsored by the Mahalak Autogroup Posner Park Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram FIAT, Sonny's BBQ, Melbees Ink, Hungry Howie's Pizza, Made4customz and Tynetta Cuffee.