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Southwest Orange Friday, Apr. 10, 2020 2 years ago

Windermere welcomes new police officer

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The Windermere Police Department welcomed its newest officer, Dr. Phillips High graduate Shadrach King, in March.
by: Danielle Hendrix Former Associate Editor

Ever since his days attending the police academy, Shadrach King knew he wanted to be part of Windermere’s police agency.

That dream came true last month, when the newest Windermere Police Department officer officially came aboard.

A Pennsylvania native, King moved to Florida in 2008 and has lived here since. He graduated from Dr. Phillips High School in 2013 and served in the military for three years with the 1st Battalion 4th Infantry Regiment in Hohenfels, Germany.

Once he returned from Germany, he decided to pursue a lifelong dream of becoming a police officer.

“It goes back to when I was about 3,” King said. “I’d always seen cops, but at that time — of course, at such a young age — I was always like, ‘Oh, the lights, the uniforms!’ But as I got older, I saw what cops actually did. I liked the human element of they want to help people, they want to serve their community. 

“For me, growing up I didn't really have good interactions with law enforcement,” he said. “I’ve never been in trouble, but just the way I saw cops act I was like, ‘Do I really want to do this? I had an epiphany of, ‘Hey, you can help change the position of modern-day policing if you get into this field.”

King manifested his love of serving his community in the form of attending the police academy at Pasco-Hernando State College. His success required long days of training, often starting his day at 6 a.m. and not leaving until the evening. There was lots of studying and fitness training, along with learning the ins and outs of law enforcement.

In 2017, though, he graduated and got hired on with a larger law-enforcement agency. 

“I want to show the community that there is a human element to law enforcement. It’s not just what you see on TV or the news — it’s people wanting to make a difference.” - Shadrach King

“After a while there, I knew that wasn't where I wanted to be, because it was just too large and I wanted something smaller,” he said. “They were the quickest to hire me, so I went with them. After I realized that’s not where I wanted to be, I applied for a smaller agency and loved it there, but … I initially wanted to be with Windermere, but they were not hiring at the time. Windermere was my original choice.

“I knew that, of course, Windermere was a small agency, a very prestigious agency, so I’ve always been kind of drawn to the area,” he said. “It’s great. Everyone’s really nice. This is probably one of the greatest environments I’ve ever been in. They want to help they, they welcomed me into their family. It’s a place that I see myself probably going to retire at because I just like being here.”

King started his service with the Windermere Police Department March 16 and is learning the agency’s policies, processes and the general area. He’ll be paired with an experienced officer in the meantime who will show him the ropes until he’s ready to patrol on his own.

For King, his duty as a law-enforcement officer is more than just donning the uniform and the badge: It’s getting out in and interacting with the community.

“With me, I love the youth, so whenever I would see a young person out playing basketball or skateboarding or anything, I’d always make it a point to hop our of my car and talk to them, because growing up I didn't have that,” he said. “It’s more of that interaction part of the job that I enjoy. … It kind of motivates me a lot more to want to do this job because I want to show the community that not all cops are bad people. There are some bad apples in every job, but I’m not that type of person. I want to show the community that there is a human element to law enforcement. It’s not just what you see on TV or the news — it’s people wanting to make a difference.”

As Windermere’s newest police officer, King doesn’t take his responsibilities lightly, either. He said he is excited to get to know the community and uphold the agency’s standards of service.

“I like to be a part of the community that I serve,” he said. “Windermere is a perfect place because we do a lot with the community, whether it’s events or getting out for your car and walking downtown. That’s the type of law enforcement that I like.” 

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Danielle Hendrix was an associate editor for the West Orange Times & Observer, Southwest Orange Observer and OrangeObserver.com.

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