Florida Focus News Brief Oct. 11, 2016

In this episode: Florida voter registration has been extended; Bill Clinton comes to Safety Harbour tonight while Donald Trump plans to campaign in Lakeland tomorrow; Hurricane Matthew has caused 80 insurance claims in Bay area counties; clown costumes have been pulled from local Goodwill shelves; the Tampa Police Department pays tribute to Lois Marrero.

 

 

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Incoming police chief plans to build trust with Tampa residents

The City of Tampa Police Department’s mission statement is to reduce crime and enhance the quality of life, through a cooperative partnership with all citizens. Chief Eric Ward plans to do his best during his term to make that happens.

“Back in the sixties and seventies, there was a strained relationship between law enforcement and the community,” said Chief of Police Eric Ward. “So I sought out this profession to make a difference.”

Chief Ward, a 27-year veteran, was appointed in May of this year by Mayor Bob Buckhorn. He was chosen over two other candidates —Mary O’Connor and Brian Dugan— Chief Ward later named the two his assistant chiefs of police. Chief Ward succeeded former Chief Jane Castor after her retirement.

One goal Chief Ward strives for is making a difference. Chief Ward, a Tampa native, stresses that citizen involvement needs to be increased to help reduce crime. He would like to leave the city of Tampa in better shape than it was when he began his tenure.

“It all boils down to when I first started,” said Chief Ward. “I wanted to make a difference and as chief of police I can say that I have that opportunity and I’m doing that now.”

Chief Ward credits his family as a strong support system. He makes it a point to always have his entire family at events.

“I was excited because I knew how much of a hard worker he is,” said Alberta Ward, Chief Ward’s wife. “I thought of the great things he could do for our city that he loves, our city that he cares for.”

Chief Ward continues to advise his officers and the citizens of Tampa to be vigilant. He advises if you see something wrong do what’s right to help the community.