Safety Sirens Service

Local

When we think of the men in blue we think of crime fighters, street patrol and most importantly those who protect & serve our community.

But did you know police officers experience many roles once they are in the department?

Meet Officer Andrew Raphael, community officer for the Winter Garden Police Department.

ffa_photoicon30All images by Shelby Beck

A community officer is a police officer who works with kids and adults, getting to know them, their families and the local community.

Officer Raphael says that out of everything he does, his favorite part about his job is dropping everything and just spending time with kids in the community.

Raphael has worked for the Winter Garden Police Department just over two years, doing patrol and working as a community officer. Prior to his work in Winter Garden, Raphael served in South Florida for twenty-seven years working in patrol, narcotics, SWAT and gaming enforcement.

There are four officers who work with Officer Raphael in the same unit, however they all specialize in different things. Raphael specializes in event planning.

He recently completed a bicycle ride fundraiser called “Hot Pursuit Pedal for PAL”, which raises money for the Police Athletic League. “PAL” has a free eight week summer camp for families in need. The police department also supports a holiday gift program where they provide gifts and meals to families that are in need. Raphael also coordinates and helps run the boys athletic league summer camp.

Officer Raphael says that out of everything he does, his favorite part about his job is dropping everything and just spending time with kids in the community.

Officer Raphael advises kids to make good decisions and think about what the consequences of those actions could be.

Raphael has been working as a police officer since he was nineteen years old and his passion came from popular TV shows like ‘Miami Vice’.

He was first interested in what he saw on TV and thought “wow, look at all that excitement”, and that is what led him to want to pursue a career in the police force.

Even though being a police officer may not be like what we see on TV, it’s a rewarding job and most importantly Officer Raphael gets to do what he loves most: helping the people of our community.

Story:

Rebecca Aaron

Rebecca Aaron

Age 15