Operation Positive Direction: OPD, community members restore home of Orlando teacher

ORLANDO, Fla. — Members of the Orlando Police Department along with community volunteers, and local businesses came together Saturday to help clean and restore the home of a long-time City of Orlando resident in Washington Shores.

It was all part of Operation Positive Direction, a youth mentoring program sponsored by the Orlando Police Department. This program seeks out middle and high school students who face social, economic, and academic challenges in an effort to set them on successful paths for their future. The program includes mentoring, tutoring, community service, goal setting and incentives for success.


Mrs. Epsie McCleese, a lifelong Orlando public school teacher has been an integral part of the community for a number of years, teaching kids from Holden Street School, Washington Shores Elementary School, Richmond Heights Elementary School, and Pine Castle Elementary School and several others.

“It is important for us to give back to our community members, especially our teachers,” Orlando Police Chief Smith said, “Mrs. McCleese has taught and inspired so many generations of Orlando residents. This is a small token of appreciation we wanted to show her.”

The annual Senior Share and Care event hosted by Operation Positive Direction is an initiative that showcases the dedication of our local heroes to make a difference beyond their call of duty while giving back to our seniors and spending time with our youth, according to a news release.

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“We are committed to our youth, and we want to positively change the course of their lives”, said OPD Sergeant Joseph Lundy who is the coordinator for Operation Positive Direction and is the Sergeant for the Neighborhood Patrol Unit, “By doing these types of events, getting to know the officers while also helping a senior resident in need teaches our youth how to make a difference in their community.”

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Over 50 volunteers spent their Saturday morning helping Mrs. McCleese transform her house.

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