Chief calls it a momentous occasion.
“This is all about leadership, integrity, hard work and girl power,” said Robin Davis of Daytona State College at a promotional ceremony Aug. 29 at the Ormond Beach Police Department.
At the ceremony, which Chief Jesse Godfrey called “momentous,” Lisa Rosenthal became the first woman captain at OBPD, Michelle Gaden was promoted to sergeant and Amberly Michaelis was promoted to corporal.
Davis was there to congratulate Rosenthal and Gaden, who got their certification at DSU as well as Michaelis, who was certified at Seminole State College. All three teach at DSU.
Godfrey, conducting his first promotional ceremony, told the officers to always remember the mission statement of the department, which includes instructions to “enhance the quality of life in our community and protect our citizens from crime through the provision of effective, efficient and responsive police services.”
As he presented their gold badges, he also said there are two more rules: “Go home safe every night and make sure the officers go home safe every night.”
Previously, corporals had silver badges, but Godfrey said he wants them to stand out as supervisors.
Capt. Rosenthal said she knew she wanted to go into police work since the age of five. She had an uncle who was an officer.
“It’s my calling,” she said. “It’s been a rewarding adventure, and I’m working with the best people in law enforcement. It’s beyond what I ever dreamed of.”
She started as a community service officer at OBPD in 1996 and has worked in criminal investigations and as a K-9 handler. The first female to be promoted to sergeant in 2014, she is an Air Force veteran and serves as the department’s DUI instructor. She is pursuing a degree in criminal justice and plans to attend the Southern Police Institute Command Officers Development Course.
Interest in criminology
Sgt. Gaden said she was influenced by her grandfather and cousins who were police officers and her interest started at an early age.
“I took care of people in high school like I was a police officer,” she said.
She was always interested in criminology and has a bachelor’s degree in the subject from Florida State University. She started at OBPD in 2002 as a community service officer and became a police officer in 2003. In 2013, she was temporarily assigned as manager of the accreditation process.
Importance of fitness
Cpl. Michaelis has a degree in sports and recreation management from the University of Minnesota and has incorporated that into her work at OBPD, where she is fitness program coordinator.
The job of police officer is active and physical and fits in well with her background.
“It’s extremely important to stay in shape,” she said. “It keeps us alive.”
She joined OBPD in 2012 as a police officer and has served as a member of the Crime Suppression Team. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree in criminal justice at American Military University and is an adjunct professor at DSC.