They have military experience, law enforcement experience, hundreds of hours of training at police academies, and now they have badges from the Apopka Police Department. The APD recently hired five new police officers, which brings the total hires to 15 for 2016. This replaces eight retirements at the APD and gives the department a net of seven new positions.
APD Chief Michael McKinley detailed the extent he goes through in hiring new officers.
“The officers that have been sworn in recently went through a rigorous hiring process and were selected from numerous applications we received,” said McKinley. “We believe they will represent the high standards set by the Apopka Police Department as well as provide the level of service the citizens of Apopka have come to expect.”
“Chief McKinley told me he only hires the cream of the crop,” said Mayor Joe Kilsheimer. “So these new officers represent the best of the best.”
All five officers graduated from an accredited college that provides the basic law enforcement academy. These programs consist of at least 770 hours of training in subjects related to law enforcement such as, courtroom demeanor and testifying, report writing, collection and preservation of evidence, interviewing and interrogation techniques, radio communications, patrol techniques, traffic direction, traffic crash investigations, police vehicle operation, defensive tactics, arrest techniques, firearms training, chemical agent application, CPR and first aid, among others. After passing the academy, they must take and pass a cumulative state test to be certified in Florida.
After certification, and once hired by the APD, they spend four weeks in a classroom learning Apopka’s computer systems (to include reporting and criminal justice information systems), getting uniforms and gear, and becoming familiar with APD policies and procedures among other basic topics. Additionally, they get issued, practice, and qualify with their handgun, rifle, Taser, baton, and chemical spray.
After completing the classroom education, they are placed in a field training and evaluation program. This consists of five, 3-week phases of education to hone their law enforcement skills on the streets. The first four phases are each progressively more difficult and are designed to make each officer work more and more on their own and have them understand the law, investigative techniques, and the Apopka community. The last phase is strictly a monitoring phase where the trainer monitors the recruit, but the recruit basically works as a solo officer. Once the 15-week field period is completed, the recruit is allowed to work as a solo officer for the APD on a squad.
Here is a short bio of the five new officers:
Officer Cintron grew up in Oviedo. She graduated from the University of Central Florida with a Bachelors’ degree in Criminal Justice. While attending UCF, she started an internship at Winter Springs Police Department, and eventually became employed with the Department in the Records Division. While in the police academy, Cintron was the executive officer of her class.
Officer Henry is originally from Immokalee, Florida. He is the son of Haitian immigrants, and is one of 14 children. He moved to Orlando in 2013. Aside from law enforcement, his passion is directed towards serving the Pine Hills area at the Ultimate Church located at the YMCA, on Hasting Street. Henry aspires to one day join the Apopka SWAT Team, and keep the citizens safer through building long-term relationships.
Officer Lemieux is originally from New York, and has lived in the Central Florida area for 20 years. He began his law enforcement career in 1996, and has served in a variety of positions during his career. In 2010, Lemieux received his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Central Florida with a major in legal studies.
Officer Plyburn was born in Winter Garden, but was raised in Apopka. She is a mother of one daughter, Adriana. She served in the U.S. Army. She has a Masters’ degree in Criminal Justice, with a Graduate Certificate in Police Leadership - both from the University of Central Florida. She was previously a protective investigator with the Department of Children and Families.
JOSE C. SANCHEZ, JR.
Officer Sanchez was born and raised in South Texas, and moved to Florida in 2006. In 2013, he married his wife, Denise, and they have a 2 ½ year old daughter, Mia. He worked at Universal Studios as a Loss Prevention Officer for 5 years. He is now looking forward to his new career with the Apopka Police Department. Jose would eventually like to get into the Traffic Unit and FTO Program to help train others.
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