In front of a packed room of about 50 police officers, family and community members, the UCF Police Department added six new officers to the force at the swearing-in ceremony Wednesday.
During the live-streamed ceremony, UCF Police Chief Richard Beary referenced the Pulse shooting over the summer, as well as law enforcement tensions across the country.
"There's never been a more challenging time for law enforcement," said Beary.
Despite that, Deputy Chief Carl Metzger said UCFPD is looking to add more officers within the next year. The UCF Police Department will be adding at least 15 officers, who will work with the Orlando Police Department and the Valencia Security Force to cover the Downtown Campus when it opens in 2019.
The six officers sworn in today were:
- Alex DeLuca, a UCF alumnus who graduated in 2015. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, and was previously a former UCFPD Community Service Officer.
- Andrew Grosswalk, a Navy veteran and now third-generation UCF employee.
- Jade Mast, a former UCFPD CSO.
- Charles Pace, a veteran of Florida’s Army National Guard. He served with the OPD for 22 years.
- Ashley Scott, who previously served with the Titusville Police Department.
- Victoria Scott, a former UCFPD CSO and UCF alumna who graduated in 2015. She graduated with a master’s degree in criminal justice.
The swearing in followed the first “Coffee with the Cops” event at the McDonald’s on Alafaya Trail. Chief Beary said that the event, which didn’t have much initial student turnout, will be held again in the future.
A seventh person, Lt. Christine Gigicos, was also officially sworn into the force. She began with the UCFPD over the summer, but participated in Wednesday's ceremony as a more formal introduction to the community.
“It’s refreshing to come here and work with the students,” Gigicos said. “I love the student atmosphere. You guys are the future.”