Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

18 months from the election, police sergeant files to run for Tampa City Council

TAMPA — Voters won't cast ballots for nearly 18 months, but Tampa has its first candidate for its 2015 city elections.

Police Sgt. Borthland R. Murray has filed papers with the Supervisor of Elections Office to run for the City Council District 5 seat held by Frank Reddick.

Murray, 47, has been with the Police Department almost 25 years and works with one of its Rapid Offender Control squads. ROC officers use intelligence about repeat offenders and crime patterns in their zones to focus on street crimes such as drug dealing, burglary, robbery and prostitution.

Murray said he plans to retire in January, but wants to stay involved in east Tampa, where he has worked most of his career.

"My goal is just to serve," said Murray, who goes by Burt. At the Police Department, he worked on the agency's QUAD squads, which targeted drug dealers, as well as in narcotics and internal affairs. "I think I have a different point of view that will help the city."

Murray's latest personnel evaluation includes mostly "above expectations" ratings and a smaller number of "meets expectations" ratings. He received the top rating — "excels" — in leadership.

Over the years, Murray also has shown a willingness to take on his chain of command.

In 2003, he raised red flags about Tampa officers who worked security at Tampa Bay Buccaneers games and gave scalped tickets that they confiscated to family and friends.

An internal affairs investigation concluded that officers redistributed confiscated tickets for at least five years, but it did not recommend disciplinary action against the captain he had accused — his supervisor — because she had retired and moved across the country.

The practice was ordered stopped after Murray complained to then-Chief Bennie Holder, but the investigation did not take place until Steve Hogue became chief and learned of the allegations.

In 2008, Murray wrote a memo to the City Council and then-Mayor Pam Iorio estimating the city could save $6 million in salaries, pension payments and other benefits in part by eliminating 14 police lieutenants and one major.

Hogue told the council that Murray's estimate was "wildly inaccurate" and seemed to assume that the supervisors he wanted to cut each cost the city an average of $400,000 a year. "No city employee makes anywhere near that kind of compensation," Hogue said.

Those changes weren't made, but Murray said he still believes city departments are top-heavy with management and said he would work to reverse that as a member of the City Council.

"That's always been one of my biggest pet peeves," he said.

In District 5, which covers east Tampa, Ybor City, downtown, the port and parts of West Tampa, Murray said he feels he has a good grasp of what residents want: better street lights, safe parks and other safe public spaces. Citywide, he says, Tampa should focus more on efficiency — such as how it buys gasoline — and should apply for federal funds to install solar panels on city property.

Murray said he's getting an early start on the campaign because he's challenging an incumbent and "I know I'm going to have to go to work."

Reddick, 57, said he believes District 5 voters will recognize that he has brought the district more attention than it had received before with "major accomplishments" to his credit.

Those include pushing Mayor Bob Buckhorn's administration to dedicate the money to repair and reopen the Williams Park Pool, working to facilitate a $2.5 million renovation of the Central Court Apartments and supporting plans to build a community center on the site of the old Honky Tonk bar.

Reddick intends to run for re-election but hadn't planned to launch his campaign until next year.

Now that may change.

"Well, my day was going good until you told me," Reddick said after learning of Murray's candidacy. "Now I that I have an opponent, I'm going to meet with my campaign team and see what they have to say."

18 months from the election, police sergeant files to run for Tampa City Council 09/25/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, September 25, 2013 11:02pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Manchester bombing victims include at least 7 parents

    World

    LONDON — The world has been horrified by how young many of the victims in the Manchester bombing were, but on Wednesday, attention shifted to parents of concertgoers who were also killed. Seven have been identified, among them a couple who left behind two orphaned daughters.

    Roussos
  2. Richard Corcoran has a new committee to help him become governor

    Blogs

    Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran has opened a new political committee, Watchdog PAC, that may or may not bankroll his campaign for governor in 2018. The Land O'Lakes Republica

    CBO analysis: 23 million would lose health coverage under House-passed bill

    National

    WASHINGTON — The Republican health care bill that passed the House earlier this month would nearly double the number of Americans without health insurance over the next decade, according to a new analysis by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.

    Demonstrators protests the passage of a House Republican health care bill, outside the the Capitol in Washington, on May 4. The House took the unusual step of voting on the American Health Care Act before the Congressional Budget Office could assess it. That analysis was released Thursday and it showed the bill would cause 23 million fewer people to have health insurance by 2026. Many additional consumers would see skimpier health coverage and higher deductibles, the budget office projected.
  3. Florida Specialty Insurance acquires Pinellas Park's Mount Beacon Insurance

    Banking

    Tens of thousands of homeowners who were pushed out of Citizens Property Insurance for a private carrier since 2014 are finding themselves changing insurance companies yet again.

  4. Pope Francis presents Trump with a 'politically loaded gift': His encyclical on climate change

    Global Warming

    VATICAN CITY — On Wednesday, Pope Francis appeared to make his point with a gift.

    Ivanka Trump, first lady Melania Trump and President Donald Trump meet with Pope Francis at the Vatican, Wednesday.  [Evan Vucci/Pool via The New York Times]