‘I’m not ruling out any options’: Orlando police chief hints at 2022 retirement

ORLANDO, Fla. — Remarks made at a recent awards ceremony have left some speculating about the future of The City Beautiful’s police chief.

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Chief Orlando Rolón was among those recently honored at the Don Quijote Awards, held Saturday at Epcot’s World Showcase Pavilion.

Rolón was presented the 2021 Don Quijote Excellence Award.

READ: Orlando Police Chief Rolon travels to Puerto Rico to donate patrol cars to Ponce Police Department

According to the organization’s website, the annual ceremony is held “to recognize successful businesses and individuals who have demonstrated the qualities exemplified by the classic literary character of Don Quijote: visionary and courageous dreamers who have taken risks to achieve their goals and improve Central Florida.”

READ: Orlando police chief: Repeat felony offenders must be held accountable

The #DonQuijoteAwards have grown significantly from 250 guests in its early days to today's 1,000 guests. 🙌 Throughout...

Posted by Don Quijote Awards on Friday, December 10, 2021

During his speech Saturday, Rolón said, “The way my retirement program is structured, it will very likely yield for me to have to retire at the end of next year.”

WFTV reached out to the Orlando Police Department for more details about Rolón’s comment.

A city spokesperson responded with the following statement:

“The announcement made by Chief Rolón was that he will have served 30 years at the Orlando Police Department next year and that retirement is near. A decision has not been made as to when exactly that will happen.”

READ: Orlando police chief semifinalist for chief of police position in Fort Lauderdale

Channel 9 caught up with Rolón on Monday for clarification on his comments.

“The way our pension program works for me after 30 years....we have a drop as an incentive that I will not be able to capitalize on,” Rolón said. “It’s a very strong incentive.”

Rolón said a late 2022 retirement wouldn’t be the end of his work in the community.

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“I’m not ruling out any options whether it’s a public or private sector job,” Rolón said. “Moving forward I think I have a little bit more to give and still want to serve this community.”

The city said Rolón has made no official announcement or notification of any plans to retire at this time.

In June, WFTV reported that Rolón was named a finalist to become the new police chief in Fort Lauderdale.

Rolón later released a statement saying he was no longer “in the hiring process” for that job.

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