16 new officers join the Orlando Police Department

Department touts diversity of recruitment class

ORLANDO, Fla. – The Orlando Police Department swore in 16 new officers this week.

Officer Jade Rhodes is part of the department’s recruiting class and said she is ready to serve and protect.

“When people ask why I chose this profession or why you’re doing it during this time right now, my mom asks me the same question every single day, and I can’t tell you, I can’t explain you, it’s a feeling inside me,” Rhodes said.

[TRENDING: Sunflower thieves cause issues at farm | FBI: Student hit officer in head with skateboard during Capitol riot | How much you’ve ever spent on Amazon]

The department said this recruiting class of 2021 is diverse — 18% are African American, 18% are female, and 25% are Hispanic.

“I am proud of the work the Orlando Police Department does to attract the best of the best to work for this great agency,” Chief of Police Orlando Rolón said.

Diversity is something Officer Ezekiel DeVoss said is extremely important in the Central Florida community which is why he wants to interact more with the people of Orlando once he hits the ground running.

“Orlando is a very diverse community, a lot of people in and out of the city, traveling. Not only just the residents but a lot of international people coming in and out of the city and I really enjoy interacting with different people,” DeVoss said.

Officer Baylor Anderson worked for the Department of Children and Families for years and said her goal was to be in a police uniform to help even more kids.

“I think bringing that to the patrol aspect of interacting with kids on a day-to-day basis... just playing basketball with kids on the street is something that’s a simple interaction but can make the biggest difference,” Anderson said.

The officers will go through supervised field training for a couple of months before they go patrolling on their own.

Use the form below to sign up for the ClickOrlando.com 4pm Trending newsletter, sent every weekday.

About the Author:

Ezzy Castro is a multimedia journalist on News 6's morning team who has a passion for telling the stories of the people in the Central Florida community. Ezzy worked at WFOR CBS4 in South Florida and KBMT in Beaumont, Texas, where she covered Hurricane Harvey in 2017. Being from Miami, Ezzy loves Cuban coffee and croquetas!