Mar 17, 2022 - News

O'Connor confirmed as next Tampa Police chief

Mary O'Connor poses with Tampa Mayor Jane Castor
Mayor Jane Castor and Tampa Police chief Mary O'Connor. Photo: City of Tampa

Tampa City Council voted 4-2 Thursday to officially make Mary O'Connor the next police chief of Florida's third-largest city.

  • O’Connor, 51, climbed the ranks at TPD before retiring in 2016 to work as a trainer and consultant.

Yes, but: The close vote came after several council members accused the mayor's communications team of besmirching them in the press.

  • The two dissenting votes — from chairman Orlando Gudes and councilman Bill Carlson — were lodged against a selection process they said wasn't transparent.

What they're saying: "For me, law enforcement was a calling, not a job or a profession," O'Connor told the council yesterday. "And 28 years ago I was called by the city of Tampa to serve. And I'm not done serving."

The new chief outlined her four priorities for the council:

  • Improve relationships with the Black and Latino communities
  • Have a robust safety and wellness program for officers
  • Reduce crime, especially violent crime
  • Implement policy to give everyone the police interact with the respect and dignity they deserve
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