Or­lando Rolon named Or­lando’s new po­lice chief

Orlando Sentinel - - FRONT PAGE - By Ryan Gille­spie

Deputy Chief Or­lando Rolon’s ap­point­ment as Or­lando’s new chief of po­lice drew a stand­ing ova­tion from both of­fi­cers and city of­fi­cials at a cer­e­mony Thurs­day.

Mayor Buddy Dyer an­nounced the 25-year-vet­eran’s ap­point­ment in a tweet Thurs­day morn­ing, be­fore a for­mal cer­e­mony at Or­lando Po­lice Depart­ment Head­quar­ters later in the day.

Rolon, 54, will be the city’s first His­panic po­lice chief in a city where about 30 per­cent of res­i­dents are His­panic.

“Or­lando has been my home…for the past four decades and I don’t take this op­por­tu­nity lightly,” Rolon said.

Po­lice Chief John Mina an­nounced his re­tire­ment ear­lier this year in or­der to run for Orange County Sher­iff. Mina’s last day at work is Oct. 26, and his re­tire­ment is ef­fec­tive Dec. 1.

Rolon will serve as act­ing po­lice chief start­ing Oct. 27, and will for­mally be­come po­lice chief Dec. 2.

In his cur­rent role, Rolon, one of four deputy chiefs, over­sees the depart­ment’s largest di­vi­sion: the Pa­trol Ser­vice’s Bu­reau. He’s worked in all four depart­ment bu­reaus and nine of 11 di­vi­sions and once served as an OPD spokesman.

He’s also com­manded the Pro­fes­sional Stan­dards, West Pa­trol and Traf­fic En­force­ment di­vi­sions, and served on the Crisis Ne­go­ti­a­tion Team for nearly 20 years, ac­cord­ing to a news re­lease.

Rolon was a li­ai­son to Dyer from 2005 to 2008 and ad­vised the mayor on im­por­tant is­sues in the His­panic com­mu­nity.

Dyer said he in­ter­viewed three of the agency’s deputy chiefs for the po­si­tion and didn’t con­sider out­side can­di­dates.

“I tell ev­ery depart­ment di­rec­tor that your first job is to pre­pare some­body to take your job when you’re done,” Dyer said.

Rolon said his time serv­ing un­der Mina helped pre­pare him to take over the chief ’s job.

“To Chief Mina, no other chief has en­dured the chal­lenges you’ve had to lead us through dur­ing the last four and a half years, and I am thank­ful to have had the op­por­tu­nity to be part of your ex­ec­u­tive staff dur­ing that time, which helped me pre­pare for this day,” Rolon said in pre­pared re­marks.

He said his pri­or­i­ties as chief would be keep­ing his of­fi­cers safe and also work­ing to build and pro­tect the com­mu­nity’s trust. He said he would un­veil more of his plan later this month when he for­mally takes over.

“To our cit­i­zens, we will con­tinue our re­lent­less ef­forts to re­duce crime, build trust and pro­tect the trust you have given us to serve and pro­tect our com­mu­nity,” Rolon said.

Mina thanked po­lice of­fi­cers for their work dur­ing his four-and-a-half-year ten­ure and re­flected on the Pulse tragedy, the shoot­ing death of Lt. De­bra Clay­ton and the loss of four more ac­tive-duty of­fi­cers to ill­ness.

“I could not be more proud to be your chief, and it has been the great­est honor of my life,” Mina said.

Through it all, Mina said Rolon was al­ways con­scious of the of­fi­cers’ needs and made sure they were taken care of, even in chaotic sit­u­a­tions the agency has faced.

“Or­lando Rolon is go­ing to be a great chief,” Mina said.

His ap­point­ment must be con­firmed by the city coun­cil, which is sched­uled to meet Oct. 22.

Have a news tip? You can call Ryan at 407-420-5002, email him at ry­gille­spie@or­lan­dosen­tinel.com, fol­low him on Twit­ter @byryangille­spie and like his cov­er­age on Face­book @byryangille­spie.

RICARDO RAMIREZ BUXEDA/OR­LANDO SEN­TINEL

The Or­lando Po­lice Depart­ment an­nounces its new chief, Or­lando Rolon, dur­ing a press con­fer­ence at OPD Head­quar­ters on Thurs­day.

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