Best Keeper of the Peace Phoenix 2011 - Sergeant Al Ramirez
Sergeant Al Ramirez is the coolest kind of cop: He prevents bad stuff from happening, all while protecting your First Amendment rights to freedom of speech and assembly. A good day for him is not arresting anybody. His mission is making sure people on opposing sides of an issue holler and fuss at each other, but never come to blows and end up going home without incident.That's a tall order when you're assigned, as Ramirez has been for many years, to the Phoenix Police Department's Community Response Squad, which is charged with keeping the peace at demonstrations and protests of all kinds, from rallies by the neo-Nazi National Socialist Movement to marches by those opposed to Senate Bill 1070. Often, Ramirez is in the middle, making sure people can express themselves, whatever their political affiliations, without violence ensuing. He's been a cop for decades and has the wisdom to know that it's better to talk people down than threaten arrest. Though in case you get any ideas, those handcuffs on his belt still work, bro, and he's got forearms as big as Popeye's, in case you choose to tango instead of talk.