New OPD chief ready for new role



ORLANDO, Fla. - Orlando Police Chief Paul Rooney is retiring. Mayor Buddy Dyer made the announcement at OPD headquarters Wednesday morning.
Dyer also named Deputy Chief John Mina as Rooney's replacement.

Channel 9’s Mario Boone spoke to Mina, who said he is ready to hit the ground running and issued a stern warning to criminals.

“We will hunt you down and bring you to justice,” Mina said.

Mina, 45, who has been with the OPD for 23 years, has worked in several divisions in the department including patrol, criminal investigations and drug enforcement, according to a police department spokesman.

Mina also spent 17 years as a SWAT member and was the team commander.

“Chief Mina has grown through the ranks of OPD over the last 23 years and remains committed to ensuring safety is a top priority for the City of Orlando,” Dyer said.

The Orlando City Council will vote on Mina's confirmation at their Feb. 24 meeting.

Rooney was with OPD for nearly 28 years, according to police.

Rooney told Boone that his three years in the top job is average for Orlando police.

He said the way the city's pension program is designed it just made sense to get out now and allow someone new to take over.

Rooney’s stint as police chief was shorter than some of his predecessors.

Val Demings was Orlando's police chief from 2008 to 2011.

She stepped down to run for Congress, but lost that race.

Demings just announced her candidacy for Orange County mayor.

Mike McCoy ran OPD from 2002 to 2008.

He left to become Orange County's public safety director and is now the police chief of Altamonte Springs.

Rooney will start his new job later this month as head of security for Valencia College.

"I'm leaving the best police force in the country, OPD, to what I believe is the best college in the nation, and that's Valencia College," said Rooney.

“Chief Rooney launched new domestic violence initiatives, enhanced outreach and support to the elderly, initiated a body camera study, placed a new emphasis on officer safety and training and made succession planning a priority,” said Dyer.

Mina will be Orlando's 38th police chief.