Winter Park Police Chief Timothy Volkerson filled many roles in his 21 years with the department before replacing former Police Chief Michael Deal.
Growing up, Volkerson had dreams of serving his community as a nurse or paramedic. His career path changed after he went on a ride along with the Winter Park Police Department. Volkerson started his career with the Winter Park Police Department in 2001 and has served every division of the department since. He also represents his family’s ongoing dedication to law enforcement as two of his uncles and his father served as Orange County Sheriff’s Office deputies.
Volkerson graduated from the FBI National Academy and earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the Mount St. Joseph University. He also attended Bishop Moore Catholic High School and the Criminal Justice Institute at the Valencia College School of Public Safety.
Here, he discusses his experience and inspirations in his law enforcement career:
How many positions have you had with WPPD since you joined in 2001?
I have held many positions in the department. I started as a patrol officer. I moved to the bicycle unit within our community services division. I then moved to the K-9 unit within our special operations division. I worked with Max (my police dog) who was trained in criminal apprehension as well as bomb detection for approximately 8 years. I was promoted to sergeant from the K-9 unit and assigned to the street crimes unit, which handles undercover drug work as well as sex offenders’ registration checks and vice-related crimes like prostitution. I was then promoted to lieutenant and assigned back to night shift patrol. After working two years in the patrol division, I was transferred to criminal investigations division and worked there for several years. I was promoted to division chief and remained in criminal investigations for approximately one year. I was then transferred to the patrol division in October of 2021 where I remained until I was promoted to chief of police.
When, and why, did you decide to go into law enforcement?
I decided to go into law enforcement after participating in a ride along with the Winter Park Police Department. It was something I had been considering because of my family’s history in law enforcement. The excitement of the job as well as the variety of calls which officers experience on a daily basis was very appealing to me. A career in law enforcement was also appealing to me because I knew I would have the opportunity to help others.
Was there someone who was a particular inspiration or mentor to you?
My dad had a very successful career as a deputy with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office. He retired as a captain. I also had two uncles who worked for the Orange County Sheriff’s Office as deputies, so I grew up in a law enforcement family.
Aside from becoming chief, which of your professional achievements is most important to you?
I take great pride in attending the FBI National Academy (Class #274). I also take great pride in a number of programs that I have been able to institute within the department to maintain our high level of service and improvements for the safety of our citizens and officers. Some of the programs include body worn cameras, active shooter kits, NARCAN, wellness programs for our officers, and rifle replacements.
Which of your personal achievements is most important to you?
Without a doubt my most important personal achievement is my family. I have a loving wife who supports me and two amazing children.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I like to do anything that involves the outdoors. I enjoy surfing, fishing, snorkeling, and diving. I also enjoy hiking and mountain biking.
What advice do you have for anyone wanting to go into law enforcement?
Law Enforcement is an amazing career which can offer endless rewards through your service to others. If you are thinking about going into law enforcement, you won’t regret your decision.
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