A new officer has joined the Fruitland Park Police force – and she came to the job already familiar with the agency and the city.
Officer Courtney Stewart was sworn in this past Thursday night by Chief Erik Luce during the regularly scheduled Fruitland Park Commission meeting. She graduated from the University of Central Florida this past December with a criminal justice degree and had interned with the department from last August through February.
The Ocoee high school graduate then attended the police academy, where she graduated second academically in her class.
“Courtney was given credit to do work in our office and she meshed with the department,” Luce said. “She decided that Fruitland Park is a good fit for her and we all agreed.”
Luce said he’s been extremely pleased with his newest officer.
“I wish I could clone her for future applicants,” he said. “Her work ethic is unreal.”
Luce said one of the many things that impressed him about Stewart is that even after she completed her internship and had earned the credits she needed to graduate, she continued to come to the department on a daily basis.
“She wanted to learn,” he said. “She’s a great employee and she’s dedicated to the profession.”
For her part, the 21-year-old Stewart said she’s thrilled to be starting her law enforcement career in Fruitland Park. She added that’s she also quite happy to be working alongside her fellow officers – many of whom bring years of law enforcement experience to the table.
“They’ve treated me well,” she said. “I like everyone I work with on my shift.”
As for Luce, Stewart said she can’t imagine working for a better chief and mentor as she begins to learn the ropes of law enforcement.
“I love Chief Luce,” she said. “I trust him and I trust his judgment. I think he has our best interests at heart.”