Sheriff Marcos Lopez announced on Thursday a new program called the Women on Watch initiative, designed to encourage more women to pursue a career with the Sheriff’s Office. The program will provide interested women a free opportunity to determine if their participation in the program could lead to joining the police academy.

“Women on Watch” is the first pre-academy program for women only and will give women and opportunity to preview some of the skills needed to be successful at the police academy, and ultimately at the Sheriff’s Office.

The Women on Watch consists of two training days. The classes include academic components with an introduction to law enforcement by women in all ranks, firearm handling, self-defense, Physical Abilities Test (PAT), and vehicle operation. The program is offered free of charge to all women ages of 18 and up. Effective May 17, 2023, to be eligible for this program the applicant must have: a valid driver license and no felony convictions.

The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office recently joined the 30×30 Initiative, a campaign to increase the number of women in law enforcement by the New York University School of Law’s Policing Project and the National Association of Women Law Enforcement Executives.

“I am aware that women are significantly underrepresented at the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office, and it is my goal to change that. This is one of the reasons I have decided to create this “pre-academy,” Sheriff Marcos Lopez said.

For more information go to To register, simply complete the application and submit it online. As the program dates approach, those who have registered will be notified of the details through email or phone call by the Sheriff’s Office Recruiting Department. The next classes will be held on June 17 and 24, 2023.