The Apopka Police Department added two new officers to its police force Friday. These two officers took an oath to serve and protect, while being sworn-in by Apopka Police Chief Michael McKinley.
As a tradition, each new officer selected family members to pin their police badges to their uniforms. Officer Laura Crespo is 25 years old and was born in the Bronx, New York. Crespo grew up in Weeki Wachee, where she graduated from Weeki Wachee High School in 2016.
Crespo continued her education by attending the University of Central Florida where she earned her Bachelor’s degree in Crime Scene Investigation in 2021. She also attended Valencia College’s School of Public Safety for her Police Academy training and graduated in May of this year. Crespo’s hobbies include practicing Ju-Jitsu and serving as a youth leader at her church.
"After being a Crime-Scene Investigator for a year and a half, I decided that I wanted to follow in my father’s footsteps and become a sworn Police Officer," Crespo said.
Crespo's father retired from the New York Police Department after 22 years of service, then retired from the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office after 12 years of service and is currently a Lieutenant with the Attorney General’s Office where he has been employed for two years.
Officer Joseph Mentor is 27 years old and was born in Haiti. He was raised in Orlando and graduated from Evans High School in 2014. Mentor continued his education at Florida A&M and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice with a minor in Psychology in 2020. He attended his Police Academy training at Seminole State College and graduated last month.
Mentor’s hobbies include going to the gym, fishing, and playing basketball.
"It is an exciting career which keeps you sharp," he said when asked why he wanted to be a law enforcement officer. " I strongly believe that he can make a difference in our community and help those that are in need.”
The addition of Crespo and Mentor brings the APD roster of sworn officers to 112. The department is budgeted for 10 more officers in the fiscal year 2023/24.
“We are excited to have these two new members of the Apopka Police Department," said McKinley. "We look at a lot of applications before filing one of our police officer positions, and these two individuals met our standards. I am looking forward to them serving our community once they complete their field training program. Along with meeting our stringent standards, the diversity of this group continues to show our ongoing commitment to ensure our agency reflects the community we serve.”
Welcome aboard Officers Crespo and Mentor and welcome to Apopka.