History

The City of Apopka began as a small trade station in Northwest Orange County and was incorporated in 1883 as the "Town of Apopka City" which it remained until its official name change in the early 1900s. Like the change in the name of the City, so has law enforcement changed in the Northwest area of Orange County.

Constables


In the early 1900s much of the policing of the community was left to the task of the Orange County Sheriff and the appointment of local Constables who patrolled the area. These Constables were responsible for handling violations that were brought to their attention. Additionally, magistrates served the various areas of the county and Constables were required to bring violators in front of the magistrate for first appearance.

Police Chief


Though the system served Northwest Orange County well for many years, the City Council elected to make the provisions for a formal Police Department within its Charter and at it inception appointed Mr. T.A. Vicks as the first Town Marshall. This position evolved and at some point in our past history the position of Police Chief was appointed by the Apopka City Council.

The Police Chief is responsible for the many functions of the agency. In early years the Chief was one of very few officers whose responsibilities included every aspect of law enforcement activities in addition to ensuring that those taken into custody were housed and fed while serving time in the city jail.


Judicial Reform Act


Additionally, the police department had to oversee the security and safety of the municipal court and execute municipal warrants. In 1975, with the passage of the Judicial Reform Act and through an enactment of new legislation the municipal court system and city jails were abolished and all court and detention requirements became the responsibility of the respective counties.

In essence the legislature indicated that they felt many of the cities were using the municipal court system as a "cash register justice system," and they were going to do away with it.

This changed the way that local law enforcement within a municipality functioned. No longer were the cities responsible for the issuance and maintaining of warrants, correction facilities and the judicial system. It freed up officers to spend more time in the community and to work on the detection and suppression of crime.

Evolution of Apopka's Law Enforcement


Like many of the changes that have effected Northwest Orange County, so has the City of Apopka changed over the many years; from a small one man law enforcement agency in its inception to one that now is comprised of more than 90 sworn officers and 10 civilian employees.

Likewise, as the city has grown from its original incorporation of a mile in each direction from the Masonic Lodge Building on Main Street in downtown to its current more than 30 miles of service area, the police department has continued to meet the ever growing needs of the Northwest Orange County community and the residents of the City of Apopka.

Apopka's Modern Police Department


Today, the Police Department is comprised of major sections and many sub-components as highlighted in this website.

We also invite you to visit the Museum of the Apopkans to learn more about the history of our city and the Northwest Orange County Community.