Mayor Jane Castor and TPD Chief Brian Dugan held a press conference today to share how the Tampa Police Department has taken action since Saturday to embrace findings from the Mayor’s Community Task Force on Policing, and outline next steps to ensure the department continues implementing the findings moving forward.
The 17 key findings were first presented on Saturday, August 29th by USF Associate Professor of Criminology, Dr. Bryanna Fox, and were developed based on focus group discussions between community leaders, activists, police officers, and USF graduate students.
Chief Dugan and Mayor Castor both pledged their support for these findings and committed to implementing them in the Tampa Police Department.
“This has been a tremendous collaborative process with the community, TPD and University of South Florida.” said Mayor Jane Castor. “Not only did USF so graciously offer Dr. Bryanna Fox and her student’s time, they provided a trusted third party perspective on ways we can move forward and implement the findings. I’m incredibly encouraged by this process and look forward to seeing this conversation continue with actionable items that stress accountability and transparency. We are grateful to the participants that dedicated their time and thoughts to this important work so that we can shape the police department our community wants to see here in Tampa.”
“Meaningful change and advancement comes as a result of listening followed by action.” said Chief Brian Dugan. “I want to thank the members of the Mayor’s Task Force on Policing for being open during the workshops and honest in providing feedback. After hearing their concerns, I have already authorized some immediate changes be made to policy language, while other suggestions may take longer to review or implement. I look forward to seeing the collaboration of the Tampa Police Department, Mayor’s Task Force, and USF bring about a better sense of transparency, understanding, and connection for the entire community”.
In order to keep the implementation of these findings on track, the City of Tampa will incorporate 3rd party accountability and oversight.
Both the Tampa Bay Lightning and Tampa Bay Buccaneers have committed to help fund additional oversight and research from USF’s Dr. Bryanna Fox over the next year.
Steve Griggs, CEO of the Tampa Bay Lightning added, “We are proud of the steps our hometown is taking to listen to the community and improve public safety. By working together, we can make a difference here in Tampa and advance social justice nation-wide. We are happy to do our part to ensure these recommendations are fully implemented in the Tampa Police Department and we look forward to a continued partnership between the City, TPD, and the community.”
Darcie Glazer Kassewitz, Co-Owner of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, also voiced support, “Since 2018, we have worked closely with our players through our Social Justice platform to enact positive change in and around the Tampa Bay area. We have focused on listening and educating ourselves on the issues that need to be addressed and are working to find solutions that ultimately make our neighborhoods safer for all. Police relations have been a focus of our programming and we support this joint effort to resolve these challenges facing our community.”
To see the full report and findings, visit tampagov.net/task-force-on-policing.
Click here to view the Facebook Live presentation of the findings from Saturday, August 29th.
Click here to view the Facebook Live of the press conference at TPD Headquarters today.