Ogburn sworn into office as city of Ocoee’s first black police chief

Vincent L. Ogburn was sworn into office Tuesday, May 7.

Vincent L. Ogburn has served the Ocoee Police Department since 2020.
Vincent L. Ogburn has served the Ocoee Police Department since 2020.
Photo by Annabelle Sikes
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History was made Tuesday, May 7, when Vincent L. Ogburn was sworn in as the city of Ocoee’s first black police chief. 

Ogburn has served as acting chief since November, when former chief Saima Plasencia was terminated.

Prior to November, Ogburn served as the deputy chief of operations, a position he held since 2020, when he joined the Ocoee Police Department.

“It means a lot to be selected as chief,” Ogburn said. “I don’t take it for granted. I have an agency of men and women (who) want and know how to do the job. It’s my job to make sure they have the proper tools to stay safe. Then I have the community, who I need to listen to and protect. We also have the city administration, who we need to be on the same page with. It’s a team effort here. We are more than just a police department. It’s a very heavy title, and there are some big shoes to fill, but I am very receptive and humbled to be in this position.”


Ogburn was born in New York and was raised on a farm in Virginia. After high school, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy. 

“I wanted to serve,” he said. “We have a military family. My father and some of my brothers and sisters have served. We have some in the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines. We always wanted to help people. Here I am years later, still in a role of service.”

Ogburn served five years active duty, one year active reserves and two years inactive reserves as a hospital corpsman assigned to the U.S. Marines.

When he got out of the Marines, he began looking for jobs.

Although he initially worked for a contract company loading and unloading ships in Jacksonville, he was searching for work with more benefits and a career that would challenge him — not only physically but also mentally.

Ogburn started his 33-year career in law enforcement with the Florida Highway Patrol for Orange and Osceola counties in 1991.

Ogburn was hired by the Orlando Police Department in 1996 and served that agency for more than 23 years. 

During his tenure, Ogburn served the Orlando community in the patrol division, special operations division, as a public information officer and as the chief’s staff director. He retired at the rank of deputy chief.

At the OPD, Ogburn often would pass through Ocoee. He never considered working for the city until he was about to retire and saw in the West Orange Times & Observer that a deputy chief in Ocoee was retiring.

He put in his application, talked to his family, prayed about the opportunity. 

All the stars aligned.


Although the Ocoee PD is small, Ogburn said the team is mighty and the connections are what set the department apart.

“The connection that our officers have with the community are very special,” he said. “We have a lot of officers from Ocoee (who) work for the agency. They know the people, and it’s like a family. Thankfully, we don’t have the call volume that other larger agencies do. We can take the time to not just help dissolve situations but get to the deeper roots of the problems and truly help on a long-term basis.”

Ogburn said one of the department’s biggest challenges is with the area’s youth population.

“I believe in speaking to them and showing them what they can do,” he said. “Being role models for them. Sometimes, you open up a new avenue or connect them with a new resource that they never considered before. What’s rewarding about that is when you have the opportunity to connect with them later on in their lives, and they sometimes thank you.” 

One of the greatest lessons Ogburn has learned throughout his years of service is always to listen to people.

“You may not always have the answer, but the person may have their own answer and they’re just talking to have someone listen and have that confirmation that they’re on the right track or doing the right thing,” he said. “You give them that little extra push. Let them know that they’ve got this and they’re not different from anyone else. If that’s what they want, they should seek their own goals and opportunities.”

Ogburn hopes to continue to build on the department’s foundation, as well as manage the growth of the area, continue to educate the public on safety and plan more community involvement events with local residents.

“I have a very open-door policy,” he said. “Call me — whether it’s good or bad. I love those conversations.”

Although the job isn’t always easy, Ogburn said he continues to be passionate about his work because of the people.

“You want to help people, and people want help,” he said. “We are in an era now where people see individuals (who) need help, but they just drive by and say that it’s not their problem. When you can stop by that person and ask how you can help them and they see a person in a uniform and not someone trying to scam them or with ill intent, then they know they can trust us. Sometimes, it’s not physical help they need. Sometimes, they just want to talk. To know that we can provide that is a pretty good feeling.”

Ogburn lives just outside of Ocoee in the Winter Garden area with his wife of 30 years, Francina, who he met in the FHP. She is a school resource officer for Orange County Public Schools.

The couple has two sons, Vincent Jr. and Jordan, as well as a daughter, Raelin. The Ogburns also are new grandparents.



Annabelle Sikes

News Editor Annabelle Sikes was born in Boca Raton and moved to Orlando in 2018 to attend the University of Central Florida. She graduated from UCF in May 2021 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a minor in sociology. Her past journalism experiences include serving as a web producer at the Orlando Sentinel, a reporter at The Community Paper, managing editor for NSM Today, digital manager at Centric Magazine and as an intern for the Orlando Weekly.

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