ORLANDO, Fla. – The new chief of the Orlando Police Department was officially sworn in on Wednesday.
During a change of command ceremony at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, city leaders marked the transition from Chief Orlando Rolón to Chief Eric Smith.
[TRENDING: Here’s a list of DeSantis-backed school board candidates who won election night | Video of man stabbing shark in head in New Smyrna stuns some. Here’s why it’s legal in Florida | Become a News 6 Insider (it’s free!)]
During the ceremony, Rolón was thanked for his 30 years with OPD and for serving as the city’s first Hispanic chief of police.
During his four years as chief, Rolón led the agency through the COVID-19 pandemic as law enforcement nationwide was under intense scrutiny.
Rolón said he was proud of his accomplishments, which included growing the department, increasing transparency and establishing youth outreach.
“I mentioned I was tasked with taking this great agency to the next level for the next chief of police. I believe this was accomplished,” Rolón said.
Before leaving the stage, Rolón announced his next job as the National Director of Operations for BCC Construction Group.
Mayor Buddy Dyer then swore in Eric Smith as the 40th chief of the Orlando Police Department.
Over his 27 years at OPD, Smith served in nearly every role, including on the SWAT team and as the high-risk incident commander. He listed several priorities as the new chief.
“Fighting violent crime. There’s been a spike in violent crime, we can’t have that,” Smith said. “Then also while we’re doing that, maintaining our ties and increasing our ties with the community.”
Another goal mentioned was increasing the number of women in the department to 30%.
Smith said he’ll be drawing on the experience of past chiefs to guide his future decisions.
“(If) I take all the great things I learn from them from over the years and put that together with who I am, I think we’ll get a great result,” Smith said.
This comes as the city of Orlando has endured shootings and scares over the past few months.
Get today’s headlines in minutes with Your Florida Daily: