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Sarasota Police Department welcomes nine new officers

Eight of nine newly minted officers of the Sarasota Police Department with Police Chief Rex Troche and guest speaker Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody.
Eight of nine newly minted officers of the Sarasota Police Department with Police Chief Rex Troche and guest speaker Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody.
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One holds a master's degree in chemistry. Another was a professional baseball player. Two are in their 40s and several have served in law enforcement in other states. 

On April 18, all nine became newly minted officers of the Sarasota Police Department, eight of them taking advantage of the Florida Law Enforcement Recruitment Bonus Payment Program, which pays $5,000 after taxes to recruits after two years of service and who have never previously served in the state. 

Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody speaks at last week's Sarasota Police Department swearing-in ceremony.
Photo by Andrew Warfield

The ceremony, held at the Robert L. Taylor Community Center, featured a keynote address delivered by Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody. 

She touted the bonus program as one factor that has helped attract approximately 6,250 of 25,000 new officers from out of state since the program began in 2022. Florida’s support of law and order, she said, is a key factor for the state’s in-migration, not the least of which is among law enforcement personnel.

“The fastest growing population of those wanting to get into the state of Florida are police officers, and I think it speaks volumes that nearly 70% of those were swearing in today came here from out of state,” Moody said. “You have answered our call and it is a mistake to believe that people preparing to move to the state of Florida has no relation to the fact that police officers are clamoring to move to Florida.”

Of the nine new officers, eight were in attendance. The recruits, who will now begin field training with an assigned field training officer, are:

  • Aaron Applebee
  • Andrew Capozzi
  • Frank Gomez
  • Leslie Kismartoni
  • Dominika Kluszczynska
  • Zachary Manning
  • Jamisha Peterson
  • Kassidee Plumley
  • Joseph Saia

“The economic prosperity, stability and future success of a city and nation seems to be common sense. But here in Florida we actually put that in a report because none of the other states can seem to figure it out,” Moody said. “I ask you on this celebratory day to remember that you will be the people we come to to protect one another. 

The newest officers of the Sarasota Police Department wait to be sworn in.
Photo by Andrew Warfield

"It takes a very special person to answer the call. I'm mindful of that every time I put my arm around a police officer for picture and I feel the vest I know you're all wearing, wanting to answer the call to stand on the line between good and evil. It takes a very brave, selfless person.”

As they were individually introduced, badges were pinned onto the new officers by family members and friends, who also posed for photos with SPD Chief Rex Troche. Then they listened to Moody’s parting thoughts of what is expected of the new officers.

“We will ask you to be a role model for others in the community. These are great expectations they are necessities in this important role,” Moody said. “It’s not just about being the strength and a guardian and a hero for those of us who need your protection. It's about those 10- and 12-year-olds who are hearing that call right now, that one day they want to be just like you.”



Andrew Warfield

Andrew Warfield is the Sarasota Observer city reporter. He is a four-decade veteran of print media. A Florida native, he has spent most of his career in the Carolinas as a writer and editor, nearly a decade as co-founder and editor of a community newspaper in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina.

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