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Tampa Mayor Jane Castor to begin police chief search after April election

WTSP-TV Tampa-St. Petersburg 1/30/2023 Jordan Highsmith

More than a month has passed since former Tampa Police Chief Mary O'Connor resigned after flashing her badge during a traffic stop, Tampa Mayor Jane Castor has shared an update on the hiring of the next chief of police.

"The mayor will begin the search in earnest after the April election to ensure she gets input from city council," a spokesperson for the mayor, Adam Smith, said in a statement.

Smith also indicated that Castor could pick a search firm before April to start the process.

This comes as Castor spoke in a meeting with the Tampa Bay Times editorial board where she spoke about how Tampa Police Department will soon begin a "redeployment" that will take the department back to a geographically focused approach to policing, the Tampa Bay Times reports.

Castor is on the ballot for reelection on March 7. She served as Tampa's police chief for six years before that and spent 31 years in local law enforcement. 

While the search for the next police chief could take months. Tampa Police Assistant Chief Lee Bercaw has been serving the interim role.

Back in December, Castor noted in the search for the next chief, "We will do a very comprehensive and exhaustive search, nationwide search."

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