WATCH: Interim Cocoa Police Chief John Hankins Administers Oath of Office to Five New Officers

By  //  February 11, 2021

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officers will spend the next few months in training, learning department’s procedure

WATCH:  Interim Cocoa Police Chief John Hankins administered the oath of office to five new police officers this week. The officers were sworn in during a special ceremony in the presence of family and friends, members of the police department staff, members of the Cocoa City Council, and city leadership.

BREVARD COUNTY • COCOA, FLORIDA – Interim Cocoa Police Chief John Hankins administered the oath of office to five new police officers this week.

The officers were sworn in during a special ceremony in the presence of family and friends, members of the police department staff, members of the Cocoa City Council, and city leadership.

Bryan Baylis, 36, is originally from Pocomoke, Maryland. He earned a bachelor’s degree in sport management from Wingate University. From 2004-2006 he played center field for the university’s baseball program.

He moved to Florida in 2009. He spent the last twelve years working at the Kennedy Space Center as a member of the emergency response team.

In 2019, Baylis graduated from the Criminal Justice Academy at Eastern Florida State College. He is the oldest of two boys. He is married with two daughters.

Jason Collins, 39, is originally from Jamaica and came to Florida when he was 11 and lived in Fort Lauderdale for 23 years before moving to Brevard County in 2013. He worked as a sales representative for a beer distribution company before deciding to pursue his desire to become a law enforcement officer.

In January, he graduated from the Criminal Justice Academy at Eastern Florida State College.

Collins has two older brothers and two younger sisters. He is married with three children.

Edward Hartzell, 27, was born and raised in Melbourne, Florida.

He is the middle of three children. He was a defensive back for Kentucky Christian University’s football program but finished his associate degree at Eastern Florida State College.

He graduated from the college’s Criminal Justice Academy in January. He says his cousin, who is in law enforcement, influenced him to become a police officer.

Paul Noland, 34, is originally from Paducah, Kentucky and moved to Central Florida in 1993 and lives in Merritt Island. He served 12 years in the United States Marine Corps in artillery operations.

He served three tours in Iraq and spent part of his military service in Japan before being stationed in the U.S. at bases in North Carolina, New Jersey, and California.

He left his military career in 2018 and was honorably discharged. In October 2020, he graduated from the Criminal Justice Academy at Eastern Florida State College.

He has an older brother and younger sister. Noland is married with three children.

Mark Rush, 58, is a former sergeant with the Cocoa Police Department and retired on September 28, 2020 and went to work for another agency before deciding he would return to Cocoa. Rush served the city for 10 years.

He is a veteran of the U.S. Army where he served for three years from 1981-1984. He is married 38 years and has three sons and six grandsons.

The new officers will spend the next few months in training, learning the department’s policies and procedures. They will be placed with a field training officer to learn all operational procedures of the job.

Upon successful completion of the training, they will be assigned to a squad and be deployed for solo patrol duties.

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