Bonk’s adventure: Windermere deputy chief selected for FBI academy

Jayson Bonk is the only current member from the Windermere Police Department who will have attended the academy.

Jayson Bonk has 24 years of law-enforcement experience. Fifteen of those have been with the Windermere Police Department.
Jayson Bonk has 24 years of law-enforcement experience. Fifteen of those have been with the Windermere Police Department.
Photo by Annabelle Sikes
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Before he one day progresses to the role of chief, Windermere Police Department Deputy Chief Jayson Bonk has two more goals he hopes to achieve: earning his master’s degree and completing the FBI National Academy.

As of April, Bonk is one step closer to completing his goals, as he recently was honored with the opportunity to attend the academy this July.

In doing so, Bonk will become the only current member of the WPD to attend the academy.

“I’m going to have the opportunity to just detach myself from everything I’ve been doing and focus on being a better leader and learning from the best, so that I can come back here and use those new tools that I’ve learned to help our department,” Bonk said. “This is a huge thing for me. They want to take great leaders and make them better leaders. It’s a lot of work to get in, and it’s going to be a lot of work while I’m there, but I know it will be a great experience for me. I want to be more confident in myself as a leader and as a human.”


Bonk has served with the WPD on two separate occasions. 

He started his law-enforcement journey with the town of Windermere in 2000 but left in 2002 to work for the Altamonte Springs Police Department.

Bonk worked in a few different capacities, such as with the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office and as an alcohol and tobacco agent for the state before coming back to the WPD in 2011. 

He became a sergeant shortly after Chief Dave Ogden took over in 2013.

Although the WPD is a small agency, the town drew Bonk back because of its strong sense of community and family.

“I’ve worked for large agencies, and what they don’t have is that intimate relationship that you can have with the residents, Town Council members and the administrative staff,” he said. “When there is an agency that has so many employees, you’re just a number. Here, we’re like a small family.”

Fifteen years of Bonk’s 24 career in law enforcement have been with the town.

Bonk earned an associate’s degree in criminal justice in 2015 from Columbia Southern University and returned in 2019 to to earn his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice administration. That degree prepared him for the deputy chief position — which he took in August 2022.

As deputy chief, Bonk serves in an administrative role, where his responsibilities include overseeing the day-to-day operations of the department, resolving personnel issues, applying for grants, purchasing equipment and handling information technology issues.

Despite the hard work and many hats Bonk wears in his position, his passion for law enforcement continues to shine. 

“My passion is seeing change and seeing things improve,” he said. “I’ve never been afraid to work — even if it means getting out and getting my hands dirty and working on projects for our residents. I actually enjoy doing those things. I want to try to improve this community to make Windermere the best that it can be. I think we are a wonderful community with wonderful people, and I’m here to do whatever I can to continue to make it better.”

As the second part of his goal, Bonk started his master’s degree in law enforcement leadership this year at Liberty University, which he currently is working on completing.


The FBI National Academy is a professional course of study for U.S. and international law-enforcement managers nominated by their agency heads.

Sometimes, it can take years to get into the academy, and there never is any guarantee applicants are selected.

Ogden, selected in 2020 for the academy but unable to attend because of the COVID-19 pandemic, said Bonk was the natural choice.

“The FBI National Academy is one of the most prestigious institutions dedicated to preparing law-enforcement executives for their leadership roles,” Ogden said. “My definition of success revolves around aiding others in achieving their goals, and attending this academy will undoubtedly be advantageous for Deputy Chief (Jayson) Bonk and his future endeavors.”

Sessions yield about 265 officers, including up to 35 international students, who take undergraduate and/or graduate courses at the academy campus. Classes are offered in a diverse set of areas, and officers participate in a range of leadership and training. 

Officers share ideas, techniques and experiences with each other and create lifelong partnerships that transcend state and national borders.

The 10-week program in Quantico, Virginia, provides coursework in intelligence theory, terrorism and terrorist mindsets, management science, law, behavioral science, law enforcement communication, and forensic science. 

The program serves to improve the administration of justice in police departments and agencies at home and abroad and to raise law enforcement standards, knowledge and cooperation worldwide.

Despite his fear of public speaking, one of the classes Bonk most is looking forward to focuses on just that. He also is looking forward to the demanding physical training the academy requires each day to help get him back into a routine and become the healthiest he can be.

Since his selection, he has been training to prepare for the academy.

However, Bonk said the most excitement he has for the journey pertains to The Yellow Brick Road, the final test of the fitness challenge. 

The Yellow Brick Road is a grueling 6.1-mile run through a hilly, wooded trail built by the U.S. Marines. Along the way, the participants must climb over walls, run through creeks, jump through simulated windows, scale rock faces with ropes, crawl under barbed wire in muddy water, maneuver across a cargo net and more. When, and if, the students complete this difficult test, they receive an actual yellow brick to memorialize their achievement. 

Bonk will be attending class No. 291, and he hopes to graduate in September.



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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