Orlando Deputy Police Chief Orlando Rolon was named by Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer to be the city’s next chief of police, to succeed Chief John Mina, who is running for Orange County Sheriff.

Rolon is a 25-year veteran of the Orlando Police Department who has, at various times in his career, supervised all four of the department’s major bureaus and nine of its 11 divisions.

Rolon is in position to become the city’s 39th chief of police. Born in Puerto Rico, he would be the city’s first Hispanic chief.

“I am confident that under Chief Rolon’s dedicated leadership, the Orlando Police Department will continue to work diligently in protecting our community against crime, while implementing best practices, new technologies and national model trainings and initiatives to ensure the department is able to meet the growing needs of our city,” Dyer stated in a news release. “Chief Rolon has grown through the ranks of OPD over the last 25 years and remains committed to ensuring the safety of everyone in our city.”

Rolon’s appointment will go before the Orlando City Council on Oct. 22, 2018, for confirmation.

Whether he wins or loses the Nov. 6 sheriff election, Mina is retiring after 28 years. Mina’s last day in the office will be on Oct. 26, 2018, and his retirement is effective Dec. 1, 2018. During this interim, Rolon will serve as acting chief and assume the position of chief of police on Dec. 2, 2018.

Rolon has served as commander of the OPD Professional Standards Division, West Patrol Division, Traffic Enforcement Section, and Downtown Section. In addition to his regular job assignments, Rolon also served nearly 20 years as part of the department’s Crisis Negotiation Team and was the team commander.

In 2016, Rolon served as the agency’s lead for the White House Police Data Initiative, helping make Orlando’s police department the first in Florida to join and increase department transparency. In 2017, Rolon led a team of Orlando police officers deployed to Puerto Rico after Hurricanes Irma and Maria to assist with aid and recovery efforts. Most recently, he has served as the bureau commander for the Patrol Services Bureau, the largest section of OPD, comprised of 408 sworn and civilian personnel.

Rolon is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and has also completed the FBI Florida Executive Development Program. He is a founding member and past president of the Central Florida Chapter of the National Latino Peace Officers Association, an organization dedicated to diversity and equality, and is bilingual, speaking Spanish fluently.

Rolon also served in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves from 1982 to ’86. He is currently working on a master of science in criminal justice from Columbia College.

About The Author

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at scott@floridapolitics.com.

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