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New officers cite diversity, community, and mission statement in choosing to serve on the APD


An effective police department plays a crucial role in ensuring the safety and well-being of a city's residents. From addressing criminal activity to promoting community engagement, a strong police force is essential for maintaining law and order and fostering a sense of security among the population.

It's also important that its officers have good morale and are on the force for the right reasons.

The Apopka Police Department swore in five new officers last week in a ceremony at City Hall. The Apopka Voice covered the event and published an article about it. We asked the new officers why they chose the APD over other agencies. Their responses were both uplifting and surprising.

Officer Maxwell Francisco liked the APD's mission statement and the lifestyle this community could offer his family.

"I was born and raised in the city of Passaic, New Jersey. While living in the State of New Jersey, I became an officer for the Paterson Police Department in the city of Paterson, where I worked in the Patrol Division for 5 years. While working for the department, my wife and I began discussing the potential to move out of New Jersey for a better quality of life due to our family growing and having young children. 

I've had the pleasure of visiting Florida on multiple occasions, where my wife and I became fond of the way of living and saw ourselves raising a family here.  During my course in the EOT (Equivalency of Training) program, I made contact with multiple police departments in search of continuing my career with a department that aligned best with my goals and aspirations. During that search, I came in contact with the Apopka Police Department and its staff and immediately became attracted to their mission statement and the dedication they take to serve the Apopka community. They also have multiple divisions, allowing expansion and growth within the department, and they also provide competitive pay and retirement for their employees, which overall allowed me to make the decision to come work as an officer for the APD. I look forward to serving the community and becoming a positive role model not only for the community but also for my new colleagues, which I look forward to working with throughout my career."

Officer Nick Kasheta was already an Apopka resident and respected the officers from the APD that he knew.

"I chose the Apopka Police Department over other agencies for a couple of reasons. The retirement is by far better than any other agencies in Central Florida. Having met current police officers from living in the city, I have never had a bad interaction and always admired their professionalism and dedication to the community. I wanted to be a part of that. Furthermore, I believe that the APD is far ahead of other departments with training and equipment, which comes down to me feeling safer in my position and able to be more successful for myself and the community I serve long term."

Officer Carlos Arias was impressed with the APD's diversity and his desire to establish trust between law enforcement and the community.

"I wanted to become a police officer in the city of Apopka because of its strong commitment to community-oriented policing. Coming from a diverse city up north, I am pleased to see that Apopka shares a similar mix of cultures. I am driven by the opportunity to contribute to the well-being of the community by fostering trust and cooperation between law enforcement and the public. I seek to be someone the community can confide in and rely on by building strong, positive relationships. The chance to work in such an inclusive environment excites me, as I believe it will allow me to make a meaningful impact on the lives of Apopka’s residents."

Strong relationships and a close-knit community attracted Officer Erik Nillson to Apopka and the APD.

"I picked the Apopka Police Department over other departments because the community is closer together, and everyone in the department knows one another and forms stronger friendships." 

Officer Daniel Durazo sees a platform for growth and the quality of the Apopka residents as a reason to serve on the APD.

"I chose Apopka over all others because of the quality of the people who live there and work at the Apopka Police Department. I also see great potential for growth and opportunity within this city." 

Apopka Police Chief Michael McKinley, who swore the five officers in last week, was particularly impressed with their responses.

“It is exciting and humbling to see the enthusiasm from our new personnel," he said. "We carefully review numerous applications and take the selection of officers who wish to serve our community very seriously. We have worked hard to ensure we provide the highest level of law enforcement services possible. Our community supports the police department and, in return, expects a high level of service. Our goal is always to find officers who will serve our community professionally while showing empathy and compassion to those who may become victims.

I routinely receive positive feedback about the performance of our current personnel, both sworn and civilian. It always brings me great satisfaction to hear that our team takes pride in delivering high-quality service to our community. I am sure that the comments made by our new recruits are a direct result of our current personnel’s hard work and dedication to our community.

It is truly an honor to work with all of our sworn, civilian, and volunteer personnel. Their commitment to our community and their professionalism are to be commended.”

Once again, welcome to Apopka, Officers Arias, Durazo, Francisco, Kasheta, and Nilsson. Thanks for the kind words about the community and for your service to it.

Apopka, Apopka Police Department, APD Swearing-In Ceremony, When will the new officers be on the streets?


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