On September 11, 2001, as a group of Officers from Miami Dade County gathered together to witness the horrible unfolding events in New York City, they were committed to organizing their vision more than ever. Prior to that eventful day, the group had been involved in others Latino groups with not much result. Being disenfranchised they bonded together. All the Officers from Miami Dade had been members of the Hispanic Association Correctional Officers (HACO) from 1993 – 1999. HACO, which is non-exiting today, played an important role in the development of character of the founding members. HACO, being a powerful organization in its time only had a local effect. Knowing that much more could be done to organize and network Latinos law enforcement professionals under one umbrella, the then leadership of HACO searched for a solution. In October 1999,the board of HACO under the guidance of then President Alexander Martinez voted to become members of a large National Latino Officers group. Once again these Officers were still looking for a spirit of sovereignty. Thus, in 2001 they turned towards the National Latino Officers Association and Chairman Anthony Miranda.
In August 2002 the charter was created by the following Officers: Jake Mestrinelli, Peter Ferrer, Edward Salintero, Mike Urbistondo, Angelo Figueras, Joe Schmidt, Nelson Delgado, Leo Alvarez and the continued support of Chairman Anthony Miranda. The vision of these Officers from Miami Dade became a reality. The LOA-FLA was officially established on September 12, 2002 the day after 9-11. Thanks to the willingness and service of these Officers, the charter was off and running.
From the humble beginnings of the first LOA-FLA Board of Directors meeting in the food court of Westland Mall in Hialeah the LOA-FLA continue to grow.
The LOA-FLA is registered in Florida as (not for profit) 501c4. The LOA-FLA
was filed on August 19, 2002 in Florida under document number N02000006250 (search document). The LOA-FLA is a completely sovereign organization pursuant to Florida law.
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