Vernon graduate joins Fort Myers police

Mar 18 2016 | 12:31 PM

Matt Zarillo, a 2011 Vernon High School graduate was sworn in as a member of the Fort Myers Police Dept.

Zarillo moved from Wayne to Vernon with his motherom and brother at the beginning of fifth grade when his mother married Michael O'Connor, a lieutenant with the Wayne Police Dept.

After graduating high school, he went to Florida Gulf Coast University, where he earned a bachelor's degree in criminal justice in May of 2015.

While on the Deans List he obtained a Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice in May of 2015.

Zarillo lost his dad to Cancer at age 10. He grew up quickly as he tried to be the man of the house and a good role model for his brother. He stood by feeling helpless as his older cousin suffered from with drug addiction. In his senior year of high school, he watched a beloved friend die quickly due to cancer. Most recently, he has watched a another cousin (who is his age) struggle with severe depression.

Matt said having lived through these experiences has been a big influence on his character and has given him an even greater desire to attempt to make this world a better place and hopefully making a difference.