Love and law enforcement: Two TPAPD officers make the journey from Brooklyn to the beach
Angeliesse and Mike Nesterwitz started their law enforcement careers with the NYPD, but they've made a new home at the Airport and in Tampa Bay.
In the bustling heart of the city that never sleeps, two New York Police Department officers found something unexpected: each other.
Angeliesse and Mike Nesterwitz – she originally from New York City and he from a small town in New Jersey – both joined the ranks of the NYPD around seven years ago. They each wanted to contribute to their communities, but they couldn't have anticipated that they'd become partners in life, or that they would one day have jobs safeguarding passengers as members of the Tampa International Airport Police Department.
For Angeliesse, the decision to join law enforcement was an easy one. Both her parents were dedicated career public servants; her mother rose through the ranks of the NYPD and her father spent his entire career working for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Two of her sisters worked for the city and her brother joined the military. Her family’s dedication to public service helped form the foundation of her own career path.
Motivated by his desire to help others, Mike also chose a career in law enforcement. This choice made him unique among his family members, as he was the first to join a police department. He quickly fell in love with the dynamic nature of the job.
“I didn't want to be stuck in a career where every day felt exactly the same,” Mike said. “This job keeps me on my toes and it's exactly what I was looking for.”
Angeliesse and Mike met on the job and shared stories about patrolling the city streets, and eventually their interest in each other grew. Their careers and their relationship both evolved; Mike was selected for a specialized unit focusing on community policing, a vital bridge between law enforcement and the neighborhoods they served. Meanwhile, Angeliesse became an instructor at the New York City Police Academy, where she taught and supervised over 800 recruits.
Both had chosen different paths within the NYPD, but their shared dedication to making a difference remained their driving force. But about four years later, the thought of a future together beyond the concrete jungle of New York City began to take root. The rising costs of living in the city spurred them to consider new opportunities elsewhere. After learning about open law enforcement positions in Florida, they decided to move.
“Knowing no one in Florida was one of the hardest things about the transition,” Angeliesse said. “We really just had each other and decided to jump in with both feet.”
In late 2022, they married in a Pinellas County courthouse and decided to start life anew on the sunny shores of Tampa Bay. Among the white sands and sunny days, they discovered a sense of community unlike any they had known before.
“The people in Tampa Bay really are just so kind,” Mike said.
Angeliesse and Mike decided to join the ranks of TPA Police Department. As Airport police officers, they've continued to serve and protect, ensuring that each person passing through TPA leaves with a positive impression of law enforcement.
The size and scale of Tampa International Airport surprised the law enforcement duo – as did the number of items that go missing.
“Oh, people lose things all the time,” Mike said. “We’re always on the lookout for something."
Almost a year into their lives as Floridians, Angeliesse and Mike know they made the right decision to move to Tampa Bay.
“We really came to Florida to build a family,” Angeliesse said. “I’ve got baby fever and can’t wait to put down roots in this area.”
Angeliesse and Mike are currently building a new home north of Tampa. Wanting plenty of room for a growing family is the driving force behind the build, but Mike acknowledged that they’ll probably be playing host to waves of visitors in the coming years.
“Now that all of our law enforcement friends know we live in Florida, I think they’ll be taking us up on the offer of a free place to stay very soon,” he said.