POAT was founded under the auspices of the Dade County Association of Chiefs of Police in 1989 as a support organization for the law enforcement community of Miami-Dade County, Florida to assist officers and their families in times of need. This need is most often financial, but extends to other areas as well. POAT offers assistance to all sworn officers in Miami-Dade County from federal, state, county, and municipal agencies.
In 1988, two Miami-Dade Police Department officers were shot and killed in the line of duty and a Miami Police Department officer died as a result of injuries received in an on-duty accident. In 1989, an officer's son was struck by a car and suffered severe head trauma, and an officer's daughter developed a neurological disorder, which has left her ventilator dependent ever since. There was no resource or organization in place to assist these officers and others who were facing devastating situations until POAT was formed.
The first major grant was given by The Two Hundred Club of Greater Miami, which functions for the benefit of all law enforcement and fire personnel in Greater Miami.
The responsibilities of POAT are twofold. First, to provide financial assistance to officers disabled in the line of duty, suffering from chronic or terminal illness, or the victim of some other catastrophic circumstance. POAT has paid, and will continue to pay, health care costs that insurance does not cover and other expenses when the need arises. In all cases, financial assistance is given when all other means have been exhausted. To read more about financial assistance POAT has provided click here.Secondly, POAT provides educational assistance to the spouses and children of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty in Miami-Dade County. To read more about educational assistance,
After Hurricane Andrew struck South Florida in August 1992, POAT stepped in to assist officers whose homes and lives were devastated by the storm. Through cash advances, supplying building material, and providing necessities such as food, water, and clothing, POAT helped more than 900 law enforcement families. With the certainty that their homes and families were secure, these officers were able to continue helping our devastated community during their 12-hour shifts.
POAT has also been called upon to assist the families, as well as the agency involved, when officers have been killed in the line of duty, and other deaths involving law enforcement officers and their immediate family members. The assistance provided is primarily financial, but has included making funeral arrangements, counseling, and handling insurance and other matters for the family. For information on the annual Police Memorial Ceremony, which memorializes these brave men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice,
POAT obtains funding through private and corporate donations, payroll deductions, and various fund-raisers held throughout the year. POAT is an all-volunteer organization and the staff for these fund-raisers consists of law enforcement personnel and their families donating their time, therefore administrative costs are kept to a minimum.
The Board of Trustees is comprised of representatives from the different levels of law enforcement in Miami-Dade County (federal, state, county, and municipal) as well as members from the Miami-Dade County business community and law enforcement related fraternal and labor organizations. The Board of Trustees and staff meet on a monthly basis to discuss and vote on various assistance cases, fundraisers, and other matters pertinent to the operation of the organization.