Rockland County lawmakers have recognized Haitian officials, local organizations, a team of local public safety experts that recently completed a volunteer mission to earthquake-ravaged Haiti and others who have provided assistance to Haiti and its people.
The recognition ceremony was led by Legislator Jacques O. D'I Michel before an audience of more than 150 people at the County Legislature Chambers in New City.
Michel presented Certificates of Appreciation to members of the Public Safety Response Team - a Rockland delegation of law enforcement, medical, construction and design industry personnel led by Michel – that embarked on a fact-finding mission in June and joined in the ongoing relief efforts and the rebuilding process of Haiti's Public Safety, Homeland Security, Correctional facility and Judicial Police networks.
As the former Director of the Rockland County Sheriff's Department Crime Awareness Program, Michel has organized seminars on public safety and professional security tactics for Homeland Security personnel from Haiti. The members of the team included: Correction Officers Ruben E. Felix, Seth Felix, Rocky Jean-Louis and Jodi Michel, Parole Officer Mario Alexandre, Police Officer and Respiratory Therapist Jean-Herve Mondestin, and Pierre-Mary Martin, an architect.
Michel, joined by Legislature Chairwoman Harriet Cornell, also presented certificates to Dr. Neil Christopher, a Brooklyn physician and to his spouse Lisa Christopher, for their humanitarian aid to Haiti, and to Haitian Ambassador Raymond Joseph, the Consul General of Haiti, Felix Augustin, the Haitian Ministry of Justice Advisor, Joseph Felix Badio, Delta Airlines Performance Leader Susie Pepe, Rockland County Sheriff James Kralik and Spring Valley Police Officer John Vespucci for ongoing support to Haiti.
Distinguished Service Awards were presented to the Haitian Association of Pastors and Evangelical Churches of Rockland, the Rockland Correction Officers Benevolent Association and the Rockland County Superior Officers Council for their support and dedication to the Haitian community here and in Haiti. Cornell presented a proclamation in honor of the Nyack Church of God and its founder, the Rev. Pastor Jacqueline Kenol Joseph, and the Rev. Pastor Kenol Joseph for providing to the people of Lazile, Haiti a 50 bed hospital and organizing free clinic services and feeding the epidemic malnourished impoverished rural communities of Haiti before and after the catastrophic January 12, 2010 Earthquake.
"It has been difficult for Haitian Americans to see our motherland on her knees," said Michel. "These brave and giving people, motivated by their love of Haiti, felt the need to give back and assist the displaced, injured and suffering people of Haiti. They all deserve this praise and recognition."