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LEO Awards return with luncheon honoring South Florida's finest

Ceremony recognizes officers who have gone above and beyond call of duty
Shannon Cake speaks at 2022 LEO Awards
Posted at 4:00 AM, Jun 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-03 14:32:44-04

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — WPTV is a proud sponsor of the 2022 Law Enforcement Officers Awards luncheon.

This year's LEO Awards was held at PGA National Resort & Spa in Palm Beach Gardens.

WPTV anchor Shannon Cake served as emcee of the event, which recognized the outstanding accomplishments of law enforcement officers throughout South Florida and the Treasure Coast.

Hosted by ASIS International's Palm Beaches Chapter 254, the luncheon is a small token of appreciation for the contributions of men and women in law enforcement who go above and beyond the call of duty.

Among this year's honorees is Riviera Beach police Officer Joseph Hoffman, who came to the rescue of a 12-year-old boy struggling to stay above water in the ocean last June.

"I just thank God I happened to be there," Hoffman told WPTV. "You know, I mean what are the odds that I happened to be driving by when that 12-year-old kid was drowning out there?"

WATCH: Officer Jeff Hoffman's Story

Riviera Beach police officer helps save child from drowning

A good Samaritan who tried to help save the child also got caught in the rip current, but Hoffman, armed only with a buoy and a fighting spirit, managed to rescue them.

Hoffman scoffed at the notion that he was doing something heroic. Rather, Hoffman said, he was just doing his job.

"It's what you would do as a decent human being," he said. "You know, I don't think it makes anyone a hero at all."

Another winner was Jupiter police Officer Guy Kitchens, who donated his kidney to a retired Broward County deputy.

"In my life, if something was meant to be, God always flung the doors open and none of these were shut, so I was pretty sure I was supposed to do this," Kitchens told WPTV in March.

WATCH: Officer Guy Kitchens' Story

Jupiter police officer donates kidney to retired deputy

After six hours of surgery earlier this year, Kitchens' kidney was inside Jeff Cooper.

"To give the gift of life is the most beautiful gift you can give anybody," Cooper said.

An appreciative Cooper now considers Kitchens his "living angel."

"One of my biggest motivations was I knew that Jeff has been going through pain, a lot of pain, for a while," Kitchens said. "So, in my head, I'll go through a little bit of pain now and he can have the rest of his life."

Watch the luncheon live in its entirety beginning at noon on WPTV.com and the WPTV app on your phone or your favorite streaming device.