Hooper: Taking community policing to the streets

Published December 1 2014

The day after violent unrest erupted in Ferguson, Mo., last week, five Tampa Police Department officers showed up in Sulphur Springs — not in riot gear, not in armored vehicles, not even in patrol cars.

They arrived on bicycles at Community Stepping Stones, a nonprofit organization that uses art to impact the lives of children in the impoverished neighborhood.

"It's certainly friendlier than a patrol car," said Community Stepping Stones executive director Sigrid Tidmore. "I think the mayor (Bob Buckhorn) and Chief Jane Castor are to be commended for this idea."

The bike patrol program is worthy of praise and replication.

Meanwhile, St. Petersburg police Chief Tony Holloway draws raves in his first 100 days for a new program requiring everyone on the force to "park, walk and talk" respective patrol areas for at least an hour.

Lessons can be learned. Community policing can make a difference.…

Seen on a bumper sticker: The Best Way To Predict The Future Is To Help Create It. …

Elder Ford of Tampa opens a new showroom Thursday with all kinds of amenities, but the best feature may be a spacious conference room that nonprofits can use at no charge.

Tampa Bay Times staff writer Arleen Spenceley launches her new book — Chastity Is for Lovers: Single, Happy, and (Still) a Virgin — at 7 p.m. Friday at St. Frances Cabrini Roman Catholic Church, 5030 Mariner Blvd. in Spring Hill and 1 p.m. Saturday at Spirit FM next to Christ the King Church, 821 S Dale Mabry Highway in Tampa.

The subject may illicit snickers, but we should admire her conviction.

That's all I'm saying.