Scholarship helped Juanita O'Harra become a police officer


Juanita O'Harra smiling

Every morning Juanita O'Harra looks at a photo of herself meeting two police officers as a child. For as long as she can remember, Juanita wanted to be a cop. In 2014, Juanita started her career as a dispatcher for the Tarpon Springs Police Department; however tragedy struck during her very first shift. Juanita was the dispatcher for Officer Charles Kondek the night he was fatally shot while on duty.

“I learned so much that night, I realized how quickly things can change,” she said.

In mourning with the entire Tampa Bay Law Enforcement community, Juanita learned what it meant to be part of the “Thin Blue Line” and felt support all around her. This experience prompted her to follow her dreams and enroll in SPC’s Police Academy.

Juanita was awarded the Tampa Bay Area Chiefs of Police Association Law Enforcement Scholarship through the SPC Foundation which paid for the full cost of her Police Academy training.

“It was really humbling to be chosen as a scholarship recipient," Juanita said. "It helped me keep everything under control financially but also has allowed me to be part of something larger than myself."

Through this scholarship Juanita has been able to network with Tampa Bay Police Chiefs and has worked as a Patrol Officer for the Temple Terrace Police Department.