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20th Anniversary Photo Contest – November Winner

The COPS Office is pleased to feature the November 2015 winner of the Community Policing in Action Photo Contest: The Longwood (Florida) Police Department. Their winning photo features members of the Longwood Police Department and the Longwood community members on Patrol program greeting veterans at the Orlando International Airport upon their return from their Honor Flight trip in 2013.

The Longwood Police Department provides services to approximately 14,000 residents of the suburban Orlando town. Commuters traveling to cities north of Orlando typically have to drive through Longwood, which increases the number of people that the department serves on a daily basis. Led by Chief Troy Hickson, the Longwood Police Department believes in a duty to ACT through accountability, consistency and transparency.1 The department, which is composed of 48 officers and support staff, works closely with thecommunity members on Patrol program, which includes around 40 Longwood residents, city employees, and business owners who have a vested interest in keeping the community safe.

Chief Hickson, who has served in law enforcement for approximately 25 years, lives and breathes community policing. “Community policing has been touted as a strategy, but I truly believe that the essence of community policing is what law enforcement is all about, period,” he said during a brief interview. “Every law enforcement agency should be focused on the services they deliver, which encompasses everything about community policing.”

When Hickson became the police chief in May 2010, he made it a priority to engage Longwood community members. After meeting with the local Neighborhood Watch president, Hickson forged a solid relationship with the group and relies on that relationship to ensure effective community engagement. “Our goal is to engage the community through a common bond. Our common goal is to make Longwood a better place to live, work, and play.”

In an effort to show appreciation to Longwood community members, Chief Hickson was one of the many members of the Longwood Police Department to greet the two Longwood residents and veterans who participated in the Honor Flight program in 2013. “Once we learned that there were two Longwood residents flying to D.C., we knew it was perfect for us to get involved,” he said. With community members on Patrol volunteers, Longwood City Commissioners, his wife, and his sons, Hickson was honored to surprise the veterans upon their return to Florida. “When they came through the terminal, we had made signs and we thanked them for their service to our country. It was a very surreal incident, really touching to me and members of the police department and to my children. I took that as an opportunity to teach my children that our freedoms are not free. This is a way that we can honor and thank [the veterans] for the service that they provided for our freedoms today.”

Chief Hickson has committed to participating in the Honor Flight program whenever there are Longwood residents involved.

The COPS Office congratulates the Longwood Police Department for being one of the 12 winners of the COPS Office Community Policing in Action Photo Contest and for its commitment to community policing.

Written with contributions from Chief Troy Hickson, Chief of Police, Longwood Police Department. Photo taken by Kelly Morrow, Crime Analyst, Longwood Police Department.

Najla Haywood
Special Contributor
The COPS Office


i “Longwood Police Department,” City of Longwood, accessed October 14, 2015,

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