Police vehicles

Incident involving chief of police

This information is 1 year 5 months old and may no longer be accurate.

The Tampa Police Department would like to address a recent off-duty incident involving Chief of Police Mary O'Connor.

On the evening of November 12, 2022, Chief O'Connor and her spouse were stopped by a Pinellas County Sheriff's Office deputy while riding in a golf cart without a license plate outside of a residential area in Oldsmar. The incident was recorded on the Pinellas SO deputy's body-worn camera. Please see the below statements from Chief O'Connor and Mayor Jane Castor addressing this matter.

Statement from Chief Mary O'Connor:

"It was poor judgment on our part to be driving a golf cart on a public roadway without the appropriate tags. This was the first time we had exited the golf-cart friendly community in which we own property with this vehicle, prompting the need for a license plate.

In hindsight, I realize how my handling of this matter could be viewed as inappropriate, but that was certainly not my intent. I knew my conversation was on video, and my motive was not to put the deputy in an uncomfortable position. I have personally called the Pinellas County Sheriff offering to pay for any potential citation.

I have expressed great remorse to the Mayor, and I apologize to the residents of Tampa who have a reasonable expectation of better judgment from their chief of police.

As someone who has dealt with, taken ownership of and grown from my past mistakes, I know that no one is above the law, including me."

Statement from Mayor Jane Castor:

"We hold everyone accountable, no matter their position, and this behavior was unacceptable. Chief O'Connor will go through the due process and face appropriate discipline."

Chief O'Connor has voluntarily reached out to the Tampa Police Professional Standards Bureau asking to receive the same discipline that any officer would receive for similar conduct. An internal review of the incident is underway.

No further information is available at this time.