Every police officer should be considered a hero in their efforts to keep the city safe, but only a select few take their efforts beyond the station.
Lieutenant Daniel Villanueva is one such officer. Lt. Villanueva is the task force commander of the Street Terror Offense Program with the Miami-Dade Police Department. His daily work consists of: ridding the local area of illegal narcotics, removing unauthorized firearms from the hands of criminals, and performing home invasions to incapacitate violent lawbreakers. Despite the fact that his demanding job takes up most of his time, he still manages to assist his fellow officers.
One of Lt. Villanueva’s passions is assisting the families of fallen officers. He accomplishes this via the Police Officer’s Assistance Trust (or P.O.A.T. for short) which operates behind-the-scenes by providing both financial support as well as home support to these families. Some specific examples are the families of fallen officers: Roger Castillo and Amanda Haworth.
Officers Castillo and Haworth were both killed when attempting to invade a home and arrest a known murderer. Unfortunately, along with the tragedy of losing a loved one, their families had to deal with the loss of income as well. The P.O.A.T. immediately came to the rescue and paid for everything that these people needed- including the construction of a new portion of their homes. Lt. Daniel Villanueva was one of the officers who offered his time to help construct a new wing to the Haworth home and refinance the Castillo home.
Even after working consistently for days on end, Lt. Villanueva is still capable of maintaining a strong relationship with the rest of his co-workers. The members of his squad act as both brothers-in-arms as well as best friends and sang nothing but praises when asked to speak regarding their leader. The same goes for those in a position above him as well. Juan Perez, the Deputy Director of the Miami-Dade Police Department, refers to Lt. Villanueva as a, “Cop’s cop,” who, “serves law enforcement when he doesn’t have to.”
No matter what the circumstances may be, Lt. Daniel Villanueva is a local hero who vows to always put the lives of fellow officers and their families before his own- all while remaining humble staying out of the spotlight.
Jose Companioni and Esteban Larranaga assisted in the production of this video.