Tampa police chief Brian Dugan announces retirement
Tampa police Chief Brian Dugan will retire on Sept. 10, after 31 years with the department. Dugan spent the last 4 years as chief.
State of play: Dugan told the Tampa Bay Times after his announcement yesterday that "it’s just time." He said he consulted with Mayor Jane Castor — formerly his boss as police chief — and his family.
Flashback: Dugan was appointed interim chief by then-Mayor Bob Buckhorn in 2017 after Eric Ward’s sudden retirement.
- He soon shepherded the department through the Seminole Heights killings and Hurricane Irma, leading Buckhorn to grant him a "battlefield promotion."
- He also faced a turbulent 2020 with months of racial justice protests and criticism of the department that put officer morale "in the gutter" — as well as the coronavirus pandemic and the killing of Master Police Officer Jesse Madsen in the line of duty.
Between the lines: Creative Loafing points out that from 2017 to 2019, Dugan’s department had a 24% increase in use of force during arrests and a 223% increase in the use of chemical agents. Last year, TPD had a 28% increase in officers pointing their guns at people.
- Under Dugan, TPD had the highest budget increase of any US metro area — 8.6% for the fiscal year of 2021, a $13 million jump.
What’s next: Assistant Chief Ruben "Butch" Delgado will fill Dugan’s shoes as Castor launches a national search for a new chief.
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