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Corporal Rafael Betancourt of the Mascotte Police Department has been honored with the South Lake Chamber of Commerce First Responder Award for July 2015. The award replaces the Chamber's previous law enforcement category to allow recognition of other branches of public safety.

Mascotte Police Chief Rolando Banasco, and candidate for the office of Lake County Sheriff, addressed a breakfast meeting of the Chamber honoring Betancourt.

"Corporal R. Betancourt, is a single father and he comes to the Mascotte Police Department, with a prior work history from the Florida Department of Correction since January 2007, where he served in the capacity as a correctional officer and promoted himself up the ranks to a Correction Officer Sergeant," said Banasco.

Corporal R. Betancourt, joined the Mascotte Police Department, in March 2012 as a police officer, and was promoted to patrol supervisor in January 2014, and then to his current corporal position in 2015.

Banasco told the gathering that Betancourt could always be relied on to respond to any major call. He was the office on scene at a shooting in Mascotte when three armed suspects forced their way into a home and discharged three shots, one injuring a victim.

"I am also extremely proud of all my police officers, especially him, because of his truthful, service above self, positive hard work, which holds testament for other officers to follow," explained Banasco.

"For this reason I have nominated Corporal Betancourt for this award."

Corporal Betancourt was presented with the award by Wesley Reed of the South Lake Chamber of Commerce Public Relations Committee along with a gift certificate from Ameriprise Financial.

Mascotte Police Department's Corporal Rafael Betancourt honored with First Responder Award
South Lake chamber of commerce first responder award for july 2015
Corporal Rafael Betancourt, center, was honored with the First Responder Award for July 2015. He is shown with Wes Reed of Ameriprise Financial, Chief Rolando Banasco of Mascotte and Betancourt’s parents. (Photo by Mike Corradino)
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