A full week of challenges for Police officers
Last week was a busy one at the St. Petersburg Police Department.
Last Sunday, as Tropical Storm Fay took aim for the bay area, Chief Chuck Harmon notified employees to come to work Monday prepared to stay 72 hours. On Monday, city and police officials met to make decisions about necessary preparations, as the storm's path was uncertain.
On Tuesday, the storm deviated to the east and we all breathed easy again.
On Wednesday, many attended a funeral for retired Sgt. Horace L. Nero, a legendary man who patrolled city streets for 40 years. Some called him a pioneer and others recalled his role with the "Courageous 12" — a group of African-American officers who stood against racism in 1965 when they filed a lawsuit to demand equal treatment for all at the police department — and won.
The service caused me to reminisce about my years of working with Sgt. Nero in an area now called Midtown. I always thought his name was majestic, and will always remember how he wore a starched police uniform and perfectly placed hat with pride. He often awed me with his extraordinary command of the English language. He will be missed dearly.
On Thursday, we investigated a homicide behind a local bar in the morning and by the afternoon had solved a robbery and rape at a downtown restaurant. Three men were arrested for that and other violent crimes across the bay area.
Officers see and experience unforeseen challenges every day, and arresting three men to end a string of violent crimes in the Tampa Bay area has been this week's greatest reward.
William Proffitt, St. Petersburg police spokesman