He is remembered as a calming presence amid the chaos.
Alberto Carrillo, a criminal intelligence specialist for the Wilton Manors Police Department, passed away on Tuesday, Feb. 22, following a brave bout with cancer. He was 52.
“He was more than my husband,” Brian Percival said. “He was my best friend, my calm in any chaos and the greatest man I have ever known. I will miss him deeply every day for the rest of my life.”
While living in New Jersey, Percival met Carrillo at a friend’s birthday party on Fire Island. They were together for 20 years before officially tying the knot in 2016.
“He had this glow about him and a calmness that brought a smile to everyone when he entered the room,” Percival said. “He never wanted to be in the spotlight. He was a caring person. That was his nature, whether it was lending an ear or sending encouraging notes.”
Carrillo served in the WMPD for 10 years, Police Chief Gary Blocker said.
“Selflessness comes to mind,” Blocker said.
Carrillo wore many hats in the department, from helping with the Zoom broadcasts of meetings to serving as a victim advocate.
“He was so compassionate when providing support to victims,” Blocker said. “Officer Carrillo made everybody better human beings and was the definition of what it means to be a public servant.”
The tests were plenty. Blocker said Carrillo was instrumental in the multiple agency response to the Surfside condominium collapse and provided vital support to families suffering in the aftermath of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting and last summer’s Stonewall tragedy.
“He will certainly be missed by everyone in our city,” Blocker said.
Longtime community activist Michael Rajner said he was crushed and heartbroken upon learning of Carrillo’s death. At Tuesday evening’s commission meeting, Rajner shared a story of how Carrillo offered emotional support to a friend during an incident of domestic violence.
“Alberto was so helpful with holding his hand and keeping him calm,” Rajner recalled.
Rajner asked the commission to establish an annual service award in Carrillo’s honor.
“He was one of the most amazing people the city has ever had,” Rajner said.
An aggressive form of throat cancer took Carrillo’s life. Percival described it as unexpected, but the support from his husband’s colleagues in blue has been phenomenal. He specifically thanked Chief Blocker, Dets. Bonnie Owens and Frantz PetitPapa and Sgts. Robert Cohen and David Turner.
“The police are going above and beyond anything I could imagine,” Percival said.
Prior to the start of Tuesday evening’s commission meeting, Mayor Scott Newton asked for a moment of silence in Carrillo’s memory.
“This is one person who never had anything but a smile on his face,” Newton said.
Courtesy of Brian Percival.
A memorial service is scheduled for Sunday, Feb. 27 from 5-8 p.m. at Island City Park Preserve, 823 NE 28th St. in Wilton Manors. There is a GoFundMe account to cover the medical costs.