The first ever award named in honor of late LBPD Detective Kim Maddox. From left to right: Kim’s wife Angel Macias, award winner detective Rudy Romero and City Prosecutor Doug Haubert. Photos by Antonio Gilbreath.
Winners of the sixth annual IMPACT awards gathered with family and friends at Gladstone’s in Downtown Long Beach last night to celebrate their achievements.
Created and distributed by the Long Beach City Prosecutor’s Office, the IMPACT awards are meant to honor groups and individuals who have positively impacted Long Beach within the last year.
This year marked the inauguration of the Kim Maddox award, the first IMPACT award to be named after someone.
Maddox, a former Long Beach police detective with the gangs and graffiti unit, served on the force for more than 25 years before retiring in October 2014. She was later diagnosed with Stage IV ovarian cancer and died in September 2016.
Rudy Romero, winner of the Kim Maddox IMPACT award and an LBPD detective for the domestic violence detail, said he was honored to be receiving an award named after Maddox.
“I respected her tremendously,” Romero said. “She was very passionate and she knew how to talk to people… I respect that in officers.”
Romero won the award due to his work on the case of Thomas Faber, a 48-year-old Long Beach man who violated a restraining order more than 50 times after a woman he met on Tinder ended their relationship.
It was Romero’s dedication and persistence that helped the City Prosecutor’s office convict the man of 13 misdemeanor counts of harassment, said Deputy City Prosecutor Nadine Dahdah during the award ceremony.
Romero said that being on the domestic violence detail while winning the first Kim Maddox award was an emotional and powerful recognition, since Maddox worked with victims of domestic violence in her spare time.
Maddox and her wife, Angel Macias, co-founded the California Families in Focus, a nonprofit that works with women and children of domestic violence.
Macias herself is a survivor of domestic violence and said that when she and Maddox married, “my cause became her cause.”
Together, the two, along with other California Families in Focus volunteers, have hosted the annual Spirit of Christmas at Gaslamp Music + Bar + Kitchen. Macias said that the day is for women in domestic violence shelters to be pampered, receive “self-esteem” bags full of supplies such as makeup, perfume, and self help books and listen to empowerment speeches by survivors of domestic abuse who have gone on to live successful and stable lives.
The winners of the sixth annual IMPACT Awards with City Prosecutor Doug Haubert.
Additionally, Macias said, this past year about 700 motorcyclists showed up to pass out toys to children who live in the shelters with their mothers.
“A lot of these things were thought of by [Kim],” Macias said. “She’d be like ‘Well, if I was one of these women what would I like... what would make me feel good and appreciated?’”
“She was just a dynamite person,” Romero added. “I mean to know her was to love her.”
Macias said she was happy when she found out Romero was going to be receiving the award named in honor of her wife.
“When [City Prosecutor Doug Haubert] sent me the press release I said ‘how fitting’ that the first person to receive her award is in domestic violence,’ something that she was so passionate about.”
Before joining the police force, Maddox played basketball at Long Beach State for four years and is a member of the LBSU hall of fame. Maddox also played professionally in Europe, participated in the 1980 and 1984 Olympic trials and was a member of the U.S. National Team during its 1978 tour of the Orient.
Maddox also served as the co-president of Long Beach & Gay Pride Inc., which hosts the annual Long Beach Pride Festival.
For a complete list of the other 2016 IMPACT award winners, click here.