The Apopka Police Department added two new officers to its force on Monday. Nicholas Russo and Gwenyth Donohue took an oath to serve and protect while being sworn in by Apopka Police Chief Michael McKinley.
APD Officer Nicholas “Nick” Russo, 31, was born in Henderson, Kentucky. Russo grew up in Tarpon Springs, Florida, and graduated from East Lake High School in 2010.
Russo furthered his education by attending the University of Central Florida, where he graduated with a Criminal Justice degree in 2017.
He is married and has two children, Weston and Walker, who are 2½ and one year old.
Russo's hobbies include soccer and family time. His previous Law Enforcement experience was at the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy in 2021, and three years with the Bristol Police Department in Indiana.
“I want to continue to develop and grow the bond with our community as well as being proactive to try and stop crime before it happens," Russo said about choosing law enforcement as a career.
Officer Gwenyth “Gwen” Marie Donohue is 27 years old and was born in Hollywood, Florida. Gwen was raised in Davie, Florida, and graduated from Charles W. Flanagan High School in 2014.
Donohue furthered her education by attending the University of Central Florida, where she graduated with a Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice in 2022.
Her family comprises a twin sister, mom, brother, and her mini–Australian Shepherd – Luna.
Her hobbies include outdoor activities like walks, hikes, etc.
Donohue attended Valencia College of Criminal Justice for her Police Academy training, where she graduated in 2023. She also worked at the City of Apopka 911/Communications Center as a Dispatcher for 2½ years before starting the Police Academy.
"Growing up in a Law Enforcement family, I was raised to protect those around me and do what is right. I hope to continue to do that in the City of Apopka.”
In the fiscal year, which began October 1, 2023, the APD was authorized 132 sworn law enforcement positions. With these two additions, it has 114 sworn police officers on board.
According to McKinley, they also have five individuals who have been given conditional employment offers. The APD will sponsor them to attend the next Valencia School of Public Safety Law Enforcement Academy, which begins in January 2024.
“Both Officer Russo and Officer Donohue are great additions to the Apopka Police Department," said McKinley. "Officer Russo comes to us with previous law enforcement experience, and Officer Donohue was one of our public safety telecommunicators prior to being sponsored by the Apopka Police Department to attend the police academy. We are excited to have them join our great team, and they are enthusiastic to join our agency and serve our community.”
Welcome aboard, and welcome to Apopka Officers Russo and Donohue!