Out of the Office With Officer Rudich

While students and teachers make up the bulk of our AHS population, there are definitely valuable individuals who play roles outside of the classroom. One such role is our school’s SRO. Officer Rudich has worked as an officer at the Apopka Police Department and as a resource officer at Apopka High School.

I am actually from Apopka born and raised here, I went to Apopka High School, graduated in 2002, [the] majority of my family [are] all local, as well.

[Before becoming an officer] I was stationed in Fort Leonard Wood when I was in the military, and that was Missouri. It was really cold and I hated it. [I] lived in Orlando for a little bit.

We asked Officer Rudich why she chose to join the military.

My dad was in the army, my uncle was in the army, my grandfather; it was just something growing up. I had always wanted to do either military or law enforcement, so I went in.

Did you enjoy your experience?

Absolutely. Yes. I think everybody should be required to go into the military at least for a year minimum. You meet all kinds of people from all different walks of life, and that’s why I think it’s great for people. I mean, you’re stationed with people from everywhere–all over the United States. There were people from Korea and Egypt. I don’t remember where the other guys are from. But people from everywhere–you don’t have the choice of who you work with. You don’t have to be friends outside of work, but you have to learn to get along with people that have different backgrounds, different races, different cultures, different religions, and it just kind of forces you to stay outside of your own comfort zone.

[As for] my hobbies, I go to the gym every day. I do weight lifting. Other than that, if I’m not at work or the gym, I am most likely laying out by my pool. I love my pool, that’s my happy relaxing spot, just floating in the pool.

Before being a police officer, I worked for the DCF, department of children and families. I was a protection investigator there and I kind of just got tired of seeing all the… I worked in the children’s unit for [about] 3 years, and then I worked in the adult unit for 4 years. For 7 years I saw just all the horrible stuff people do to kids and to the elderly or to the disabled. For DCF, you do everything you can do there, remove adults from homes and everything, but the person who was at fault, we couldn’t make them pay. That was always law enforcement so I just kind of got tired of not really doing as much as I thought I could. As a kid, like I said, I wanted to be in the military or a police officer or something growing up, so it just kind of pushed me more toward it.

I wish more people, especially younger kids, would see officers as more of a person. I feel like with all the negativity on the news and just in general, we all kind of get lumped together. I just wish people, in general, would take the time to get to know us and see that we’re just like everyone else; we just wear a different uniform. I have a kid at home, and I have a family at home. We’re not always the bad guys. We’re just like everybody else. We’re here to do our job.

[When it comes to talents] I don’t think I have any hidden talents. I’m not very talented. [But] If I could be on any tv show, I’d be on Ninja Warriors, I would do that because it looks like fun with all the obstacle things. I’d probably lose in the very beginning, though.

[If I had to describe myself], I would say fun and surprising. I think a lot of people would think that police officers are boring. On my time off I like to go out and have fun.

I wish I got into law enforcement sooner. I got married at 19, and I already signed up for the police academy when I got married and it just kind of got put on hold. I got divorced and everything. I was 24 or 25 when I got into law enforcement, so I wish I’d started earlier because I’d be so much closer to retirement. But at the same time, I’m one of those people who think that everything happened for a reason. Maybe if I had become a police officer when I was younger, I wouldn’t have liked it. I’d definitely say that, or I wish I would’ve gotten into the military when I was younger. The older you get the harder it is physically and just in general. The older you are, you have kids, you get married, and there’s a million excuses that will come up.

When asked about her pet peeves, Officer Rudich responded:

I hate ignorance. That would be one of my pet peeves. I hate when people do stuff right in front of police officers. It kind of forces my hand and they’re upset that I have to do something. Like kids here, why do you have to fight right in front of me? Or the kids that come into my hallway and smoke in the bathroom. I feel like that’s just blatant disrespect. Like come on, do it in a different hall. Or yesterday, when I was driving home and this guy sped past me through a school zone and I was like, “You don’t see my car, it says police on the side of it, just no…okay?” So that’s a pet peeve and like I said, ignorance. I hate when people judge anybody without getting to know them, whether they judge you because of race or the way you look or the job you have. That just aggravates me. I’ve met so many people that are nice and good people, but other people judge them based on how they look or whatever, and I’m like, “No, they’re a good person, it doesn’t matter.”