Ocala Police Department

  • Agency: Ocala Police Department
  • Address: 402 South Pine Avenue, Ocala, 34471 FL
  • Chief: Greg Graham (Chief of Police)
Phone: 352-369-7000

Ocala Police Department is located at 402 South Pine Avenue, Ocala, 34471 FL. The Chief of Police of the department is Greg Graham. The Ocala Police Department phone number is 352-369-7000.

Ocala Police Department News

Governor Rick Scott has signed the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act. For more information regarding how this will impact our community: https://www.flgov.com/2018/03/09/gov-rick-scott-signs-marjory-stoneman-douglas-high-school-public-safety-act/

IN HONOR OF INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY, WE BRING YOU A Q&A WITH OUR VERY OWN TRAILBLAZER, MAJOR TARA WOODS: WHAT ARE SOME OF THE “FIRSTS” YOU HAVE BEEN ABLE TO BREAK THROUGH IN YOUR CAREER WITH OCALA PD? I came to the Ocala Police Department as a Community Service Officer. Though I loved the job and was able to help those in the community, I felt there was so much more that I could do. This prompted me to attend the Police Academy, and as they say, "the rest is history." I found myself working as a School Resource Officer at Howard Middle School, which was a very rewarding because it allowed me to reach out to thousands of kids, making a difference in the lives of many of them. However, I felt there was so much more that I could contribute to the agency, and to the community. I later became the first African American female Detective, Sergeant, Lieutenant, Captain and Major. WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO BECOME A POLICE OFFICER? Having grown up in West Ocala, I remember wondering what could I do to help make my community better and make a difference people's lives. I remember seeing police officers riding through my neighborhood from time-to-time, and at times stopping when others needed help. This evidently left a lasting impression on me. I have always loved reaching out and helping others, and what a better way is there to help. WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO WOMEN CONSIDERING THIS PROFESSION? Law Enforcement is a rewarding career with endless opportunities. There is no other career that I would rather have chosen. One of my favorite quotes comes from Maya Angelou, “Nothing will work unless you do,” and “All great achievements requires time.” #IWD2018

OPD INVESTIGATING POSSIBLE ATM SKIMMER AT BANK ON SW COLLEGE RD: We are investigating reports that a possible bank card skimmer device was unlawfully installed at the outside ATM machine of SunTrust Bank located at 3990 SW College Rd. It appears this device may have been in use from approximately 11:49 AM through 2:17 PM on Sunday, March 4, 2018. If you used a card at that bank location during those times, your card may now be compromised. Affected card holders are encouraged to contact their own financial institution to replace any potentially affected cards with newly issued card numbers.

HIT AND RUN FATALITY IN NE OCALA OVERNIGHT: DRIVER CHARGED WITH DUI MANSLAUGHTER AND LEAVING THE SCENE OF A CRASH INVOLVING A FATALITY. At 1:51 a.m. on Thursday, March 8, 2018, Harold Fleming (DOB: 10/27/1976) was driving eastbound on NE 24th Street and entered the westbound lane, striking a bicyclist with the front of his Ford F150 pickup. The bicyclist, identified as Perry Joshua Nolan Perez (DOB: 6/12/84), was thrown onto the northern shoulder of the roadway and struck a set of utility pole wires before coming to rest. Perez was pronounced deceased at the scene. The driver, Harold Fleming, continued traveling eastbound to the 2300 block of NE 24th Street where he finally stopped and called to report the collision. Fleming was arrested for DUI Manslaughter after breath samples revealed he had a BAC of .217 and .205. He has also been charged with Leaving the Scene of a Crash Involving Fatality. This is the third traffic fatality in the City of Ocala in 2018, and all three have been the result of a DUI hit and run. Ocala Police Department extends our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Mr. Perez as they grieve this loss.

CORRECTIONS OFFICER AND OFF DUTY DEPUTY BOTH IN THE RIGHT PLACE AT THE RIGHT TIME. OPD K-9 “SENIOR” LOCATES HIDDEN GUN… On March 3rd at approximately 5:45pm, a traffic accident happened on North Pine Avenue near NW 10th Street. The driver of a red Chevrolet Aveo, Terence Bynes, was texting when he struck a Silverado truck. Bynes switched seats with passenger Christina Vaughn, placed his gun in the glove box, and fled the scene. Vaughn didn’t want the gun to be found in the vehicle so she took it and discarded in the woods nearby. Little did they know the person in the vehicle behind them was off-duty MCSO Deputy Hughes, and that Corrections Officer Robert Sikes was also at the scene. Sikes pursued Bynes on foot and was able to detain him. When Deputy Hughes announced his presence, Bynes threw a clear plastic baggie containing a light brown rock-like substance which later tested positive for methamphetamines. Sikes and Hughes detained Bynes until OPD Officers arrived. Officer Arnold and his K-9 partner, Senior, responded to the scene. Senior was able to locate the suspect's gun in the woods. Terence Bynes was arrested and charged with: Driving While License Suspended- 2nd Offense Leaving the Scene of an Accident Involving Property Damage Possession of Methamphetamines Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon Child Support Warrant

COFFEE BREAK CREW TO THE RESCUE! These officers were headed into Symmetry when they spotted someone in need today. ☕️👏🏻 Thanks "paparazzi" for sharing!

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: MIKE BALKEN HAS BEEN APPOINTED TO SERVE AS DEPUTY CHIEF Chief of Police Greg Graham has appointed a new Deputy Chief and in total, announced five promotions effective March 4, 2018. Deputy Chief- Mike Balken Community Policing Major- Lou Biondi East District Captain- Charlie Eades Community Policing Lieutenant- Mike Sommer Community Policing Sergeant- Matt Steckman “The process of identifying and promoting strong leaders is one of the best aspects of serving in this role,” Chief Graham said. “Over the course of many years, these officers have demonstrated their dedication to this community and to our profession. They are the type of community servants I am honored to work with, and this is a great day for Ocala. I look forward to the positive progress these leaders will continue to develop for our City.” Deputy Chief Mike Balken was hired at the Ocala Police Department on April 4, 1994 and has been promoted in rank, serving in the following roles: Field Training Officer, Property and Major Crimes Detective, SWAT Operator, Patrol and Special Operations Sergeant, Watch Commander, Lieutenant in Major Crimes, Captain in Internal Affairs, and Major in Investigations and Patrol. Balken has received various commendations and awards, and is a graduate of the FBI National Academy (2009). He has a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice and serves as a member of the Florida Bar Grievance Committee. “I’ve always considered it an incredible honor and privilege to serve the Ocala Police Department and the citizens of Ocala, in whatever position I was asked to fill,” said Deputy Chief Balken. “To now be offered a chance to help Chief Graham lead this great agency as the Deputy Chief is a challenge that I am extremely proud to accept. As we move forward, my intention will be to work tirelessly in order to serve the great men and women of this agency as a high speed, low drag servant-leader. I will be focused on providing them a rewarding and fulfilling career opportunity while demanding the absolute highest level of law enforcement service that we can provide to this great city. I look forward to working closely with Chief Graham in trying to fill the shoes of my predecessor.” Of his promotion to Major, Lou Biondi said, “I am grateful to the Chief for the opportunity that this promotion brings and I am looking forward to the challenges ahead.”

We are hosting our annual Police and Children Connecting (PACC) program for children ages 6-12. There will be one class per age group and only 20 children per class. OPD School Resource Officers supervise each classroom. Six-year-old children must have completed Kindergarten to attend. COST $375 per child, payable in three installments: $125 at sign up, $125 by April 27th, and $125 by May 25th. *If payments are not made by due date, your child’s spot will be forfeited. INCLUDED Lunch, snacks, three t-shirts, and all field trips and activities. LEARNING Eddie Eagle Gun Safety, Citizenship, DARE Drug Prevention, Stranger Danger, Swimming Safety, Arts & Crafts, Team Building, Sportsmanship, Fire Safety, CSI, and Internet Safety. FIELD TRIPS Roller skating, bowling, swimming, Marion Theater, Silver Springs, Monkey Madness (ages 6-7), Sea Life Park (ages 10-12), Petting Zoo Ocala (ages 6-7), Airheads Trampoline Orlando (ages 8-9), Pirates Adventure Show (ages 6-8), Orlando Eye (ages 10-12), Medieval Times (ages 9-12), Madame Tussauds (ages 10-12), Gainesville Butterfly Garden (ages 6-7), Chuck E Cheese (ages 6-7), and Crystal River Pontoons (ages 8-12). *NOTE: OPD has no control over weather or technical issues that may cause a trip to be cancelled. QUESTIONS Contact Sergeant Mike Spicer mspicer@ocalapd.org OR Officer Rhonda Grice rgrice@ocalapd.org CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD APPLICATION: http://www.ocalapd.com/home/showdocument?id=13205

CAN YOU IDENTIFY? Many cases have been closed thanks to citizens contacting OPD after seeing images on Facebook. The individuals in these photos have committed varying degrees of theft in the City of Ocala. Please take a look at each photo and let us know if you see any familiar faces. A phone number for the Detective working each case is included on the surveillance photos. Please reference the listed case number when you call. Thank you! #Teamwork #SameTeam

Today was retiring Deputy Chief Rodney Smith's last weekly Crime Stat meeting so Captain Martin decided to add some artistic flair to his presentation. Rodney Smith joined the Ocala Police Department in 1988 as a Community Service Officer, was promoted in rank, and in 2008 became Deputy Chief. He has received numerous awards, has presented at several national conferences as an instructor, and has represented this community on many boards including: The Centers, NAMI, Salvation Army, Governors West Revitalization Council, and the Fifth Judicial Circuit Grievance Committee. Of his time with Ocala PD, Deputy Chief Smith said, "It was truly and honor to serve and protect the community where I was born and lived. I can truly say I've been blessed more than I deserved." Deputy Chief Smith has requested no events be held to commemorate his service. Please join us in thanking and congratulating him.

Happening now at IHOP on South Pine Avenue: Officer Scott Rowe is flipping pancakes and Sgt. Chuck Long is serving them to raise money for Children's Miracle Network. Next up is Mayor Kent Guinn. Stop by and see us!

SEEKING WITNESSES: CALL 369-7189 At approximately 3:15pm on Monday, February 26, 2018, a confrontation started between occupants of two vehicles at the intersection of Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue (MLK) and NW 10th Street. A white Chevrolet Tahoe pursued a blue Dodge Durango travelling northbound. At NW 35th Street, the Durango was involved in an accident with an innocent third party driving a dark blue Toyota Corolla. The accident caused the Durango to overturn and roll north on NW 16th Avenue. Witnesses observed the Tahoe driving in circles around the overturned Durango as an unknown number of occupants exited the vehicle. The driver of the Durango fled the scene and was picked up and transported to a local hospital by a friend. Ocala Police Department (OPD) Detectives were able to interview the driver of the Durango, but the driver of the Tahoe declined an interview at the scene. There are reports and evidence of shots fired between the two vehicles, but the location where the shooting occurred is unconfirmed at this time. OPD is seeking statements from witnesses who observed the initial incident at MLK and NW 10th Street. Anyone with information regarding this case is asked to call Detective Jeff Hurst at (352) 369-7189.

Letter from a 2nd grade student: "When I grow up I want to be a police women (sic) just like you." Ladies and gentlemen, the future is bright. #OcalaPDconnecting

Come see us today at OPD Headquarters on S. Pine Avenue! We'll be conducting FREE evaluation and adjustment to ensure your car "fits" and will keep you safe on the road. Stop by before 1:00pm.

BEYOND THE BADGE: OFFICER JARED SIEG "I have always had great respect and admiration for police officers. My goal has forever been to become a police officer and work among the best of them. I have certainly found that in my OPD family throughout my 17 years here. Helping people in all walks of life with problems that they face every day is very humbling and gratifying. I pray that our officers always have the wisdom and bravery to bring the solutions that our citizens desperately seek from us. My amazing wife has always supported me and all of the difficulties that come with this career. My children so innocently believe that as officers we perform extraordinary feats to save lives all day everyday and that our profession entails being a hero. I don't dare correct them or share the bad things of the world because their view is pure and I hope it lasts forever." Photography Credit: Inspired Photography & Design

Great news for Ocala/Marion County and the Unified Drug Enforcement Strike Team (UDEST) Agents who worked this case. This outcome will serve as motivation for their continued efforts on this front. #OperationLifeSaver UDEST is an initiative of the North Florida High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area comprised of local, state and federal law enforcement professionals from: Ocala Police Department, Marion County Sheriff’s Office, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Drug Enforcement Administration and Department of Homeland Security. https://www.justice.gov/usao-mdfl/pr/federal-jury-finds-ocala-man-guilty-conspiracy-traffic-over-two-kilograms

We would like to thank the following officers for their extraordinary work on this case and their dedication to justice for the victims: Sergeant Eric Hooper, Officer Charles Hunt, Detective Jeff Hurst, Detective Miguel Gauthier, and the OPD Intel Unit. The Ocala Police Department has arrested Joshua Zuniga, DOB: 04/30/1988, for a fatal hit and run that took the lives of two pedestrians in downtown Ocala on January 13, 2018. Zuniga is being charged with two counts of Leaving the Scene of a Crash Involving Death.

FATAL HIT AND RUN SUSPECT ARRESTED The Ocala Police Department has arrested Joshua Zuniga, DOB: 04/30/1988, for a fatal hit and run that took the lives of two pedestrians in downtown Ocala. Zuniga is being charged with two counts of Leaving the Scene of a Crash Involving Death. OPD utilized a private firm to expedite obtaining DNA results. This action produced results within weeks, whereas the process could have taken months. DNA obtained from Joshua Zuniga matched the DNA obtained from the airbag of the vehicle involved. On Saturday, January 13th at approximately 11:30pm, two pedestrians were hit by a 2014 Nissan Frontier that was traveling westbound on East State Rd 40. Alicha Andino, DOB: 8/19/78, and Jessie Caldero, DOB: 10/3/89, were walking northbound in a crosswalk at the intersection of E SR 40 and NE 1st Ave. when they were struck by the Nissan. The driver was traveling at a high rate of speed and did not stop. After continuing travel westbound, the driver abandoned the vehicle just west of US Hwy 441 on W SR 40. Andino and Caldero were deceased at the scene. The victims' families have been notified and have expressed their gratitude. We would like to thank the following officers for their extraordinary work on this case and their dedication to justice for the victims: Sergeant Eric Hooper, Officer Charles Hunt, Detective Hurst, Detective Gauthier, and the OPD Intel Unit. Video of Zuniga being taken to the Marion County Jail will be released.

CAUGHT ON CAMERA: LIFE SAVING ACTION Officer Jimmy Pitman and Officer Phil Hazel recently received a Life Saving Award for their quick action following a shooting that occurred on May 30, 2017. Officer Pitman heard approximately 10-15 shots fired while he was responding to a residential alarm in NW Ocala. He advised dispatch and they indicated they were taking multiple calls reporting a shooting at Deer Run Apartments. Officer Pitman responded and located two victims upon arrival. One victim was bleeding heavily so he immediately directed his attention to providing first aid. With the assistance of Officer Hazel, Officer Pitman applied a tourniquet to the victim’s leg which stopped the bleeding and likely saved the young man’s life, preventing further traumatic injury. EMS arrived approximately ten minutes after the tourniquet was applied and the victim was transported to a local trauma hospital. A fourteen-year-old was arrested in this case on June 8, 2017, charged with Attempted 2nd Degree Murder with a Firearm and Possession of a Firearm by a Delinquent Felon.

UPDATE 2/21/18: This suspect turned himself into the Police Department and has been arrested for Robbery with a Firearm. Anyone with information regarding this case is asked to call Det. McQuaig at (352) 369-7029. ORIGINAL POST 2/20/18: The Ocala Police Department has obtained images of an individual believed to be involved in a shooting that occurred on February 14, 2018. The victim, a 31-year-old male, was shot in his side near the area of SW Fort King Street. He proceeded to a residence on West Silver Springs Place, and dispatch was called at 11:10am. The victim was transported to a local hospital and he is currently in stable condition. Contact Detective Stephanie McQuaig at (352) 369-7029 or call Crime Stoppers at (352) 368-7867 if you know this person. Reference Case #: 2018-28102

Officer King: "He didn't know who I was and I did not tell him. He is an outstanding officer, very professional. I was nervous, not gonna lie! lol" #NotExempt 🚔

As we age, changes in our vision, flexibility, strength, range of motion, and height can make us less comfortable and may reduce our control behind the wheel. CarFit is a process designed to help older adults get a custom safety "fit" to their vehicle. It takes approximately 20-30 minutes and is FREE.