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 1900's. Like the change in the name of the City, so has law enforcement changed in the Northwest area of Orange County. In the early 1900's 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.
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 officer who was responsible 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. 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 were doing away with the “cash register justice system” that they felt many of the cities used the municipal court system for.
This in essence 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. 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 it’s inception to one that now is comprised of 90+ sworn officers and 10 civilian employees. And so has the city grown from its original incorporation of a mile in each direction from the Masonic Lodge Building on Main Street in downtown to its current 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.
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.
Apopka Police Chiefs
Fred L. Risner- January 1st, 1941 - December 31st, 1946 Police Chief
Don W. Kenney- January 1st, 1947 - September 30th, 1947 Police Chief
W.J. Dunnaway- October 1st, 1947 - April 15th, 1958 Police Chief
J.W. Patterson- April 1st, 1958 - May 6th, 1959 Police Chief
Herbert D. Bell- May 19th , 1958 - June 30th, 1958 Acting Police Chief
J.D. Stegall- Acting Police Chief
John Holloway- October 12th, 1961 - October 23rd 1967 Police Chief
Ralph W. Jones- October 23rd, 1967 - August 8th, 1969 Police Chief
Ray Sizemore- August 8th, 1969 - December 30th, 1970 Police Chief
Mitch Carter- January 6th, 1971 - January 11th, 1971 Acting Police Chief
Thomas Collins- January 11th, 1971 - November 21st, 1990 Police Chief
Robert Campbell- November 21st, 1990 - June 15th, 1994 Police Chief
Jimmy Watson*- June 15th, 1994 - June 7th, 1995 Interim Police Chief
Joseph C. Brown, Jr.- June 8th, 1995 - March 16th 2004 Police Chief
Charles W. Vavrek- March 16th, 2004 - November 17th, 2004 Acting Police Chief
Charles W. Vavrek- November 17th, 2004 – January 31, 2011
Robert M. Manley- January 31, 2011 - Present
* Lieutenant from the Orange County Sheriff’s Office