Orlando police take new approach at recruiting more officers

New program allows high school students to take first step in career in law enforcement

ORLANDO, Fla. – Orlando police officers are taking a new approach to raising the next generation of law enforcement leaders.

The Junior Reserve Law Enforcement program was created for freshman and sophomores at Jones High School and Lake Nona High School.

The program will start in the fall.

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Approximately 200 students from both schools will take law enforcement classes taught by police.

Students will even have the option to receive college credit from Valencia College.

“Those who come from our neighborhoods, who know and understand us, who are us, that they will be those who will protect us tomorrow,” Orange County Schools Chairperson Teresa Jacobs said.

Protesters in Orlando this past summer called for justice after George Floyd was killed.

Cliff Long from the Orlando Regional Realtor Association said he wanted to educate young people more about unity.

Long wanted to encourage more of them to become police officers.

“This is our chance in the Central Florida community to actually raise up the next generation of law enforcement to be educated and birthed right out of our high schools, right out of our communities,” Long said.

He said he approached Orlando Police Chief Orlando Rolon about the idea months ago.

Long said the trust could also help solve crimes.

“People don’t talk to people they don’t trust,” he said.

Chief Rolon said it’s an awesome program and he welcomes it.

“To help even those who have gone into a bit of trouble and help put them back on track,” Chief Orlando Rolon said.

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