Tampa Mayor Picks Lee Bercaw for Police Chief

TAMPA -- Mayor Jane Castor has announced that she is nominating interim police chief Lee Bercaw to take the job permanently.

Castor says Bercaw has done an "outstanding job" overseeing the Tampa Police Department since his appointment in December. The mayor says Bercaw has "grown and moved this department" forward, qualifying him for what she calls the city's most important job. Castor served as police chief before she was elected Mayor in 2019.

Bercaw says the department is not "starting over" but "keeping momentum going." The nominee says that means making people feel safe, going beyond statistics. He says he wants to continue neighborhood and community policing policies so that "every officer knows their community and every community knows their officer."

Bercaw's nomination is subject to city council approval. Several council members attended the announcement. He took over the job of interim chief after Mary O' Connor resigned last December. That followed an incident caught on bodycam video where she showed her badge and announced her position during a traffic stop.


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