ST. PETERSBURG — On Amanda Newton's third day as an investigator with the Crimes Against Children Unit, she was assigned a case about the attempted abduction of two young children.
She had it solved in just eight hours, finding and arresting the suspect using only a partial tag number.
Newton also investigated the first Munchausen by proxy syndrome case ever tried in the local court system.
And last year, when St. Petersburg police Chief Chuck Harmon was looking for a person to develop a strategy for tackling the city's auto theft problem, he turned to Newton. She helped create a program that tracked the 40 worst juvenile car thieves.
Newton, 35, was recently named the department's 2010 Officer of the Year.
Before she became a police officer in 2004, Newton was an officer in the Navy. She spent six years on active duty and 11 years in the reserves. Newton, who is married, also got electrical engineering and public safety administration degrees from St. Petersburg College.
Newton is currently assigned to Career Offender Tracking and Apprehension. The recently created unit, modeled after Newton's program that targets teen auto thieves, now tracks the city's worst chronic criminals.