Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

St. Petersburg police chief hopes new shift will lower downtown overtime costs

ST. PETERSBURG — Three months ago, police Chief Chuck Harmon told city leaders his department spends 300 overtime hours and $13,000 a month for downtown security.

This week, he put a new squad in the area to alleviate the strain.

Harmon said he's pulled about a dozen officers from various parts of the department to work a new 6 p.m. to 4 a.m. shift Wednesdays through Saturdays.

"This will impact a lot of what's going on downtown," Harmon said. "Those are typically are busiest nights."

Harmon said the new members of the team will spend the first several hours of their shift in other parts of the city, then head downtown after midnight.

The agency already has a specific unit dedicated to the area, called the downtown deployment team. But ever since the city expanded bar hours to 3 a.m. a few years ago, police costs have risen. As more officers had to be pulled downtown, response times to calls in the afternoon got longer, Harmon said.

In December, after months of debate, the City Council approved a proposal to make bars buy a permit to serve alcohol past midnight. The permit can be revoked if the establishments don't provide adequate security or have violent incidents.

Harmon, who has begun a departmentwide review of operations at the Police Department, said the new shift is temporary.

"It's a stopgap until as such time we get our other work done," he said. "This may be a very simple solution and it works, and we don't have any other issues. ... We have a lot to look at."

Harmon told council members about the plan on Thursday.

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

St. Petersburg police chief hopes new shift will lower downtown overtime costs 02/07/13 [Last modified: Thursday, February 7, 2013 11:12pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Blake Snell shines as Rays beat Mariners to end skid (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Blake Snell delivered the best outing of his young career and the Rays offense continued its home run-hitting ways for a 3-0 victory Sunday against the Mariners in front of 13,354 at Tropicana Field.

  2. No touchdown, but fun lesson for Bucs' Adam Humphries

    Bucs

    It didn't end up being a touchdown, but one of the Bucs' biggest hustle plays in Thursday's win over Jacksonville saw receiver Adam Humphries scoop up a loose ball just before halftime, after what looked like an incompletion but was correctly ruled a Jameis Winston fumble.

    Bucs WR Adam Humphries runs to the end zone with QB Jameis Winston trailing -- his alert play wasn't a touchdown because teammates cannot advance a fumble in the final two minutes of a half.
  3. Bucs' Demar Dotson should be back from injury next week

    Bucs

    The Bucs got good news on starting right tackle Demar Dotson, whose MRI showed only a mild right groin sprain and should be back at practice next week.

    Bucs tackle Demar Dotson, shown last year when he signed a three-year contract extension, should only miss a week of practice with his groin injury and can return healthy for the Bucs' season opener at Miami in three weeks. [Octavio Jones | Times]
  4. Comedy legend Jerry Lewis dead at 91

    Obituaries

    LOS ANGELES — Jerry Lewis, the manic, rubber-faced showman who jumped and hollered to fame in a lucrative partnership with Dean Martin, settled down to become a self-conscious screen auteur and found an even greater following as the tireless, teary host of the annual muscular dystrophy telethons, has died. He was …

    In this Sept. 2, 1990, file photo, entertainer Jerry Lewis makes his opening remarks at the 25th Anniversary of the Jerry Lewis MDA Labor Day Telethon fundraiser in Los Angeles. Lewis, the comedian whose fundraising telethons became as famous as his hit movies, has died according to his publicist. [Associated Press]
  5. Mastermind of lottery rigging scam that netted millions faces 25 years

    Nation

    DES MOINES, Iowa — For a decade, computer programmer Eddie Tipton reliably showed up for work at the central Iowa office of the Multi-State Lottery Association and earned the confidence of his co-workers, a team of technicians entrusted to build computers used to randomly pick numbers for some of the most popular …

    FILE - In this June 29, 2017, file photo, Eddie Tipton, the former Multi-State Lottery Association information security director who admitted to masterminding a scheme to rig lottery games that paid him and others $2 million from seven fixed jackpots in five states, is seen in court in Des Moines, Iowa. Tipton is scheduled to be sentenced Tuesday, Aug. 22. (Rodney White/The Des Moines Register via AP, File) IADES501