UCF Police Chief Richard Beary delivered a passionate speech on violence before swearing in four new officers to the UCF Police Department Wednesday.
"In the 40 years I've been giving oaths, I've never stopped to have to recognize four police officers here killed in Central Florida," Beary said.
Beary became emotional while asking those in attendance to take a moment of silence to pay respect to the fallen officers during the ceremony at the UCF Police Department Headquarters.
On Aug. 19, two Kissimmee Police Department officers were shot and killed by a former Marine. Sgt. Richard "Sam" Howard, 27, and Officer Matthew Baxter, 36, became the most recent law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty.
Earlier this year, Orlando Police Department Lt. Debra Clayton was shot to death and Orange County Sheriff's Office Deputy Sheriff Norman Lewis was killed in a car crash in the manhunt for Clayton's killer.
Courtney Gilmartin, spokeswoman for the UCFPD, said Victor Gaytan, Doug Osborne, Latesha Johnson and Emmanuel "Manny" Torres will serve alongside the 75 sworn police officers in the UCFPD.
Beary also mentioned the Virginia State Police and the Charlottesville Police, which were criticized for their response to the violent acts demonstrated in Charlottesville, Virginia, this month, stating that UCFPD officers should not be afraid to publicly say that their job is to support, protect and defend the constitution and the government of the United States and Florida.
Beary said that although UCFPD officers might face difficult or uncomfortable situations, they will achieve this objective.
The new officers will be highly trained in all aspects of law enforcement, including active shooter response, crowd control, crime prevention strategies, de-escalation, and disaster response, Beary said.
Beary stressed that UCFPD officers must work to increase community safety.
"In the 40 years I've been a law enforcement officer here in Central Florida, this is the worst year we've ever had," he said.