The Orange PD formally welcomed six new officers — four from the academy, two of them “laterals” from other agencies — to its ranks at a swearing-in ceremony March 21 at agency headquarters.
Several city leaders were in attendance, including Mayor Teresa “Tita” Smith, Mayor Pro Tem Mark Murphy, Councilman Mike Alvarez, City Manager Rick Otto, City Clerk Mary Murphy, and others.
“Thank you for choosing Orange,” Smith said, noting that the city supports its officers and prays for them.
Fire Chief Jack Thomas was on hand to support his friends at the Orange PD, including Chief Tom Kisela, three captains, and several other officers and members of the agency’s professional staff.
Also in attendance were members of a pre-academy run by the Orange PD that included possible recruits attached to several Orange County police departments.
“Remember who we work for — we work for the community,” Kisela told the new officers. “It’s very important to get out there and know who the people (in the community) are and talk to them. We demand and expect that.”
Kisela added: “Enjoy your career. It’s a blast. I’d do it again in a second.”
The new officers stood at the front of the room and faced the audience as City Clerk Murphy administered the oath of office.
After the swearing-in ceremony, Orange PD Sgt. Phil McMullin gave tours of the station to relatives and friends of the new officers.
The Orange PD’s new officers are:
Abolmoloki graduated from Vanguard University with a degree in kinesiology. He worked as a physical therapy aide before becoming a police officer. His goal is to be a member of the OPD’s K9 and mounted units.
Manlapaz served in the U.S. Army for three years and worked at LA Fitness before joining the OPD. He hopes to become a gang investigator and member of the SWAT team.
Nelson has a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Cal State Fullerton. He was an officer at the Los Alamitos PD for four years before transferring to the OPD. He hopes to become a gang unit investigator.
Nielsen earned a bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of Arizona. He was a deputy with the Pima County Sheriff’s Department in Arizona before he transferred to the OPD. His goal is to become a DUI officer and Drug Recognition Expert, and also to serve as a gang unit investigator.
Melendrez earned a degree in criminal justice from Cal State Long Beach. She was an SSO (Sheriff’s Special Officer) at the Orange County Sheriff’s Department before she joined the OPD. She hopes to become a DRE, a detective and a crisis negotiator.
Rudder previously worked on the security detail at Disneyland. He wants to become a Field Training Officer, a detective, a K9 handler and, eventually, a sergeant.
Steven Georges contributed to this story.