Oakland PD recognizes officers, staff

Police Chief Darron Esan presented an award to the Officer of the Year and handed out two community service awards and two distinguished employee awards.

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Oakland Police Chief Darron Esan honored several members of his department at the Feb. 13 Oakland Town Commission meeting.

The awards for Officer of the Fourth Quarter and 2023 Officer of the Year were presented to the same person: Officer Anthony Edwards. In addition to the certificates, the police department is funding his trip to Washington, D.C., to attend events during National Peace Officers Memorial Day and National Police Week.

Community Service awards were given to officers Samaria Lake and Reynalis Rojas, both of whom give generously to the community, Esan said.

“Both represent the police department with distinction,” he said.

Rojas regularly visits families in need and has presented bicycles and other gifts to them. She often covers patrol and takes a shift at Oakland Avenue Charter School when asked. Lake has delivered candy to OACS at Halloween dressed as Spider-Man, and she has been known to dress as the Oakland Police Department elf with her infectious smile

During the holidays, both participate in the annual Shop with a Cop program and provide food, gifts and clothing purchased with their own money.

Two members of the police department staff — Kelly Sims and Stacie Quinn — received Distinguished Employee of the Year awards.

“I can’t say enough about both of them,” Esan said. “They make my job easier and keep the department running.”

Quinn handles all administrative aspects of the police department, including arrest paperwork and scheduling, and she fulfills all public records requests, maintains all confidential records, ensures all agency members are current with certifications, processes department payroll, maintains all confidential records, attends town events and more.

“She is the most valuable asset this department has, and I couldn’t do my job without her,” Esan said.

Sims takes on many administrative responsibilities, prepares grant applications, keeps inventory of the department’s possessions, handles all social media, oversees the vehicle fleet and more.


The commission approved the consent agenda, which included the following actions:

Elected officials approved exceptions to the town code of ordinances to allow the serving of alcoholic drinks at two events at the Healthy West Orange Arts & Heritage Center at the Town of Oakland: Mayor Kathy Stark’s retirement reception March 11 and a reception for the Central Florida Watercolor Society reception April 12.

Commissioners authorized the mayor to sign an administrative law judge services contract with the state of Florida. This will allow the town to use Division of Administrative Hearing judges as special magistrates.


• The Oakland Town Commission passed the second reading and public hearing of a resolution and ordinance that establish the boundaries of the town’s golf cart district.

• Elected officials heard from several residents who asked them to install traffic-calming devices on Starr Street to slow down speeders.

“We just want to make sure we look at everything before we make a decision on something that’s going to be there for a long time,” Mayor Kathy Stark said.

• Another resident complained about the dust that gets stirred up on the dirt roads and asked for an investigation or a committee to find out how the town can mitigate the dust. Stark said she is committed to discovering if there’s a better way to maintain the roads.


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