Playground dedicated to the memory of deceased Hollywood police officer Yancy Chirino

FORT LAUDERDALE – A deceased Hollywood police officer has been honored a year after he died in the line of duty.

On October 17, the officer Yandy Chirino was sent to the tight-knit community of Emerald Hills to verify a report of a “suspicious incident”. Neighbors initially called 911 after noticing someone was trying to break into cars.

Chirino, 28, found the person, Jason Banegas, in the 4000 block of North Hills Drive. There was a fight and Chirino was shot. He was rushed to Memorial Regional Hospital where he died.

“We listen to the police scanner and hear what’s going on and sit in bed with tears in our eyes,” said Avi Frier, who lives in the Emerald Hills neighborhood.

“The night Constable Chirino was shot, he was not supposed to be working that night. It may not have been half an hour into his shift that this incident happened” said Hollywood Police Chief Chris O’Brien.

A year later, a playground in Mara Berman Guilianti Park was now dedicated to the memory of Officer Chirino.

“You will never get over this tragic loss, but I hope you find a way to deal with it and deal with it every day,” Chief O’Brien said.

Banegas was out of jail and on probation for burglary and drug trafficking when the shooting happened. He reportedly told police he felt ‘disrespected’ by the officer and panicked, adding that he intended to kill himself and not Chirino and that the gun went off as the two stood were fighting.

He is charged with murder, armed robbery, violently resisting arrest, theft of a firearm and carrying a concealed weapon.

Harold B. McConnell