Orlando Police Department adds more patrol officers, targeting peak crime hours

By Jerry Askin - Reporter

ORLANDO, Fla. - The Orlando Police Department recently restructured to add more patrol officers on the city's streets.

The chief said the changes come after a review of 2018 calls for service and finding better hours to address peak crime hours. The new officer shifts will now be from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and 3 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The department will add 60 patrol officers, bringing the total to 474. The additional patrol officers will focus their patrols in the west, east, and north areas of Orlando.

"We did it all without having to add officers to our staff. We did it all without eliminating our specialized units," said Orlando police Chief Orlando Rolon.

The chief said the department budget was not affected because the new patrol officers previously worked in different departments.

Residents told News 6 they consider the additional patrol officers a good thing.

"Everybody want to live safely and if police can do better by preventing something then that’s a good thing," Orlando resident Lincoln Clark said. 

"I think it's a great thing," agreed Toinette Stokes.

In addition to the new hours and officers, Orlando police are also working to build a fully staffed, real time crime center.

"The person working in the real time crime center will be able to look at the cameras, looking at the data and say 'hey you should be looking for a green car that just left the area  and here’s the tag number,'" Rolon said.

Orlando police officials said the department is still short about 94 officers. The chief said the shortage is partly based on the recent statewide mandate to add more school resource officers in schools.

Rolon said he is trying to find better ways to keep the city safe, despite the growing population.

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