Gainesville Officer Receives DOJ Award For Community Policing

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Gainesville police Sgt. Audrey Mazzuca received an award from the U.S. Department of Justice Thursday for community policing. (Photo courtesy Gainesville police)

Gainesville police Sgt. Audrey Mazzuca was one of 12 law enforcement officers across the country who recently received honors for their service from the U.S. Department of Justice.

Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch announced the 12 recipients Thursday at the inaugural Attorney General’s Awards for Distinguished Services in Community Policing ceremony.

“Each of them embodies the very best of their profession,” Lynch said in a Department of Justice news release. “They understand that their role is not just to enforce the law but to secure justice. They recognize that the badge they wear represents a sacred trust – one that they strive to fulfill each and every day.”

Mazzuca’s specific honor is called the “Innovations in Community Policing” award. It comes from her work in the Gainesville Police Department’s Disproportionate Minority Contact Initiative and Heroes program.

“Everything she is doing is to ensure everyone in the GPD is treating everyone equally and fairly,” Gainesville police spokesman Ben Tobias told WUFT News.

Mazzuca worked with local stakeholders to develop programs that encourage the replacement of student arrests with alternatives, such as counseling and life-skills training, according to the Department of Justice release. This resulted in a 79 percent decline in on-campus arrests in 2015.

About Carolina Lafuente

Carolina is a reporter for WUFT News. She can be reached at news@wuft.org or 352-392-6397.

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