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City Council Approves Agreement with Chief Lee Bercaw to Continue Leadership of Tampa PD

In a decision approved by the Tampa City Council, the City of Tampa has cemented its commitment to public safety by entering into an agreement for current Police Chief Lee Bercaw to continue leading the Tampa Police Department. This agreement solidifies Chief Bercaw's tenure as the head of the Department following his previously announced retirement on September 22, 2024.
Chief Bercaw has had an unwavering dedication to the safety and well-being of Tampa's citizens since joining the department in 1997 and being named Chief of Police in 2023. He will continue to lead the department in its mission “to work in partnership with our community to reduce crime, improve quality of life, and make Tampa safer, together.”

The agreement, authorized by a resolution between the City and Chief Bercaw, emphasizes the city's recognition of his invaluable service and commitment.

"Chief Bercaw's tireless efforts have not only made our streets safer but have also strengthened the bond between law enforcement and the residents they serve through an emphasis on community-oriented policing,” said Mayor Jane Castor. “His vision for a safer, more connected Tampa has had a profound impact, and we are thrilled to continue this journey with him."

Under Chief Bercaw’s leadership in 2023, overall violent crime declined by 8.3%, three times lower than the average decline in major cities nationally, total crime was reduced by 6.9%, and violent crime with a firearm dropped by 17.2%.

The agreement, with a projected fiscal impact of $723,000 over its term, underscores the city's investment in maintaining the highest standards of law enforcement and public safety. Chief Bercaw will receive an annual salary of $241,000 (including benefits), subject to annual performance reviews and adjustments for cost of living.

"I am deeply honored by the opportunity to continue serving the City of Tampa and its residents," said Chief Bercaw. "Alongside the dedicated men and women of the Tampa Police Department, we will build upon our successes and strive for even greater achievements in our shared mission of making our community safer, together."