Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

New police unit in St. Petersburg will focus on crime patterns

ST. PETERSBURG — A new squad of police officers focused on tackling crime patterns and neighborhood outreach soon will be hitting the streets.

The new unit — which has yet to be named — will zero in on crime prevention, according to a memo obtained by the Tampa Bay Times.

It will be made up of seven officers, a detective and a sergeant and will officially launch Monday, according to Assistant Chief David DeKay.

The unit, which will be under the direction of acting Maj. Paul McWade, will do everything from attending neighborhood meetings to addressing short-term crime sprees.

"They'll be citywide, responding to patterns or needs," DeKay said. "We're not consolidating anything. We're not replacing anything. We'll be kind of supporting those efforts already in place."

Some of those things already are done by community police officers. But the new unit is designed to respond quickly to issues, such as if a rash of burglaries pops up in a certain neighborhood.

DeKay said the idea for the squad came from Chief Chuck Harmon, who was out of the office and unavailable for comment.

Earlier this year, the chief said he was keeping an eye on a recent uptick in property crimes. Statistics show that after several years of declines, those are up, especially auto thefts.

"I don't want to speak for the chief, but I suspect he was thinking along those lines when he was considering doing this unit," DeKay said.

The creation of the new unit coincides with changes to another specialized squad at the department: street crimes.

Street crimes will downsize from three squads to two, officials said. In fact, two of the officers from street crimes are going to be in the new crime prevention unit. Others in the new unit come from patrol, community policing and vice and narcotics.

McWade said officials were looking for outgoing officers who know how to work with people. They also will work closely with detectives.

"It just gives us a group of officers we can quickly allocate if something comes up," McWade said.

Kameel Stanley can be reached at kstanley@tampabay.com or (727) 893-8643.

New police unit in St. Petersburg will focus on crime patterns 05/07/13 [Last modified: Thursday, May 9, 2013 12:20am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rays rally twice to beat Rangers (w/video)

    The Heater

    ARLINGTON, Texas — Starting Erasmo Ramirez on Monday after he closed out Sunday's marathon win turned out, despite the Rays' best intentions and rigid insistence, to be a bad idea as he gave up four runs without getting through three innings.

    Erasmo Ramirez, starting a day after closing a 15-inning marathon, struggles against the Rangers and comes out after throwing 43 pitches in 21/3 innings.
  2. Britain investigating missed signals over Manchester bomber

    World

    LONDON — Britain's domestic intelligence agency, MI5, is investigating its response to warnings from the public about the threat posed by Salman Abedi, the suicide bomber who killed 22 people and wounded dozens more in an attack at a crowded Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England, last week.

    People gather Monday at St. Ann’s Square in Manchester, England, to view tributes to victims of the suicide bombing that killed 22 on May 22 as a concert by Ariana Grande was concluding.
  3. Trump condemns killing of pair who tried to stop racist rant

    Nation

    The mayor of Portland, Ore., on Monday urged U.S. officials and organizers to cancel a "Trump Free Speech Rally" and other similar events, saying they are inappropriate and could be dangerous after two men were stabbed to death on a train as they tried to help a pair of young women targeted by an anti-Muslim tirade.

    Coco Douglas, 8, leaves a handmade sign and rocks she painted at a memorial in Portland, Ore., on Saturday for two bystanders who were stabbed to death Friday while trying to stop a man who was yelling anti-Muslim slurs and acting aggressively toward two young women. From left are Coco's brother, Desmond Douglas; her father, Christopher Douglas; and her stepmother, Angel Sauls. [Associated Press]
  4. What major sporting event could Tampa Bay land next?

    Lightning Strikes

    We are on quite a roll as a community. First, we had a Super Bowl drop from the storm clouds into our lap. It just reaffirms the fact that Tampa Bay is great at lap. And Monday it became official: Next year's NHL All-Star Game will be held at Amalie Arena. The best in the world will be here to shoot and score. And …

    MVP Wayne Gretzky is congratulated at the 1999 NHL All-Star game, the last time the event was in Tampa Bay. [DIRK SHADD   |   Times file]
  5. How the 2018 NHL All-Star Game reflects Jeff Vinik's vision for Tampa

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — There were several reasons the NHL announced Monday that Tampa will host the 2018 All-Star Game on Jan. 28.

    This was the  logo for the 1999 NHL All-Star game played Sunday, Jan 24, 1999 at the Ice Palace in Tampa Bay. (AP Photo)