Mary Elizabeth O’Connor became Tampa’s police chief in February 2022, when Mayor Jane Castor appointed her as leader of the Tampa Police Department.
Chief O’Connor dedicated the first 22 years of her career serving Tampa communities. Her leadership and determination helped her rise through the ranks at the department from officer, to detective, then sergeant, lieutenant, captain, major, and the Assistant Chief of Operations, when she retired in 2016. During her career, she implemented several initiatives that focused on smart policing and community partnerships which helped reduce crimes and arrest rates by more than 70 percent.
Chief O’Connor believes it is a great honor and privilege to return to the community where she developed her law enforcement career to continue serving the citizens of Tampa, while leading a remarkable police force. She outlined the four foundational pillars of her administration as Community Engagement, Crime Reduction, Quality Assurance, and Officer & Employee Wellness.
Chief O’Connor also worked closely with chaplains to create a post-trauma training and retreat program for the Tampa Police Department. This initiative helps public safety personnel cope with symptoms of stress associated with first responder careers.