Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Rick Kriseman will not have a police chauffeur as mayor

St. Petersburg Mayor-elect Rick Kriseman says a full-time driver would be “a waste of manpower. We’re not Tampa.”

St. Petersburg Mayor-elect Rick Kriseman says a full-time driver would be “a waste of manpower. We’re not Tampa.”

ST. PETERSBURG — With a new mayor taking over next month, taxpayers will not see a police officer driving Rick Kriseman around the Sunshine City in the fashion of his counterpart across the bay.

"I don't want someone with me all the time," Kriseman said Tuesday. "I'm not looking for that at all."

Kriseman said he does not want to spend money on a full-time driver like Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, who is chauffeured in a city-owned car. The scheduling varies, but the retired officer is typically with Buckhorn, police said Tuesday.

"It would be a waste of manpower," Kriseman said. "We're not Tampa."

Since winning the Nov. 5 election, Kriseman said he discussed security topics with outgoing police Chief Chuck Harmon and soon-to-be interim Chief David DeKay.

Both lawmen said they have discussed general security issues, but neither said they advised Kriseman on the need for a police driver.

"I don't see the need for that," Harmon said, adding that Mayor Bill Foster and former mayor Rick Baker never used full-time drivers.

St. Petersburg police take security issues seriously for any mayor and their families, Harmon said. The department looked at Baker and Foster's schedule each week to decide whether officers needed to attend public events. Each event is decided on a case-by-case basis.

It's also possible that police will drive mayors to high-profile events, Harmon said.

"Foster valued his independence, and Baker didn't want to be tied down," Harmon said.

Kriseman said he will accept a driver when police recommend it for certain events.

Kriseman and his closest advisers have said the new mayor plans to operate St. Petersburg like it is Florida's fourth-largest city. He plans to hire a chief of staff and a spokesperson, positions not found in Foster's administration. Instead of spending countless hours in City Council meetings, Kriseman said he might skip them to work on improving the city.

Buckhorn only attends Tampa City Council meetings about once a year to present a budget.

Contact Mark Puente at or (727) 893-8459. Follow on Twitter @ markpuente.

Rick Kriseman will not have a police chauffeur as mayor 12/10/13 [Last modified: Thursday, December 12, 2013 6:24pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. On the Camino de Santiago, Day 19: A peregrina spends the whole day under the weather, and part of the day under the table


    Day 19: El Burgo Ranero to Puente Villarente: 25.4 km, 7.5 hours (Total for Days 1-19 = 454 km (282 miles)

    This list pretty much sums up my day:

    Eat two bananas

    Walk 13.1 kilometers


    Walk 6.2 kilometers


    Eat half an apple

    Walk 6.1 kilometers

    Crash< …

  2. Storm routs Cleveland


    TAMPA — Alvin Ray Jackson intercepted two passes, returning one for a touchdown, and recovered two fumbles as the Storm routed Cleveland 57-27 Saturday night in its home regular-season finale at Amalie Arena.

  3. Miscue sends Rays to another stinging loss to Rangers (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays gave away DJ Kitty onesies Saturday night. Then they gave away the game.

    Rays centerfielder Mallex Smith misses a drive hit by Adrian Beltre with two outs in the sixth, allowing the tying runs to score. Beltre puts Texas ahead 4-3 when he scores after two wild pitches.
  4. Rowdies shut out Charleston


    ST. PETERSBURG — The Rowdies know a thing or two about stalemates, with five of their past 10 games ending in a draw.

    Rowdies in the first half during the game between Tampa Bay Rowdies and the Charleston Battery at Al Lang Field in St. Petersburg, Fla., on Saturday, Jul 22, 2017.
  5. 13-year-old Janessa's father holds memorial service at Rogers Middle School


    RIVERVIEW — About 100 people sat in the tile-floored multipurpose room Saturday at Rodgers Middle School where Janessa Shannon once sat as a student.

    A mourner embraces Nahshon Shannon after the memorial service for Nahshon&#8217;s daughter, Janessa, Saturday at Rodgers Middle School in Riverview.