Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Stimulus money to allow hiring of 50-plus Tampa Bay officers

More than 50 law enforcement officers will be back walking the beat in the Tampa Bay area after U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced Tuesday that stimulus money would be used to hire and rehire officers across the country.

As part of the COPS Hiring Recovery Program, St. Petersburg will hire 10 officers. Other local agencies getting stimulus dollars include police departments in New Port Richey, Pinellas Park, St. Pete Beach, Plant City and Tarpon Springs.

In St. Petersburg, the community and police engagement program will become a permanent 10-officer unit by using the grant money, Chief Chuck Harmon said. Hiring will begin immediately.

Officers will try to reduce violent crime in distressed neighborhoods. This year's program targets Bartlett Park, the Grand Central District and Historic Kenwood, police spokesman Bill Proffitt said.

The grants pay for entry-level officers' salaries and benefits for three years. Local agencies must keep the positions and pay the officers in their fourth year.

The Pasco County Sheriff's Office will receive more than $4.4 million for 24 deputy positions.

"This means 24 more professional jobs in Pasco County … to help bolster our economy," Sheriff Bob White said.

Tarpon Springs police Lt. Barb Templeton said the department applied for funding for three patrol positions that have been unfilled for almost two years.

"We're a 50-person department, and that struck us pretty hard," she said.

Tarpon Springs will receive two positions, but Templeton said she was grateful for any.

"There was $8 billion in requests and only $1 billion in money," she said.

The Pinellas County Sheriff's Office didn't apply for any of the money, said Sheriff Jim Coats.

"I don't know if we were willing to risk the fiscal liabilities three years from now," he said, noting that the economy may not turn around.

Across the state, more than $87 million was awarded for 420 positions.

The Justice Department received more than 7,200 applications for more than 39,000 positions.

Jackie Alexander can be reached at (727) 893-8779 or jdalexander@sptimes.com.

.Fast facts

Agencies getting new officers

AgencyOfficersGrant

St. Petersburg police 10 $2,053,740

New Port Richey police 2 $394,958

Pinellas Park police 5 $1,000,410

Pasco Sheriff's Office 24 $4,437,552

St. Pete Beach police 1 $232,872

Bradenton police 6 $1,141,548

Plant City police 3 $599,559

Tarpon Springs police 2 $376,836

Stimulus money to allow hiring of 50-plus Tampa Bay officers 07/28/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, July 28, 2009 10:17pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. UPS relocates express operations from St. Pete-Clearwater to TIA

    Airlines

    TAMPA — United Parcel Service Inc. is switching airports for its express air operations. Beginning in October, UPS will relocate from St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport to Tampa International Airport.

    Beginning in October, UPS will move from St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport to Tampa International Airport. [Associated Press file photo]

  2. St. Petersburg man shot in arm during home invasion robbery

    Crime

    ST. PETERSBURG — One man was arrested on charges he shot another man in the arm while attempting to rob a home in what St. Petersburg police are calling a drug-related incident.

    John Alam, 25, faces charges of home invasion robbery, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and possession of a firearm by a felon after deputies said he tried to rob a home Wednesday morning and ended up shooting someone. [Courtesy of Pinellas County Sheriff's Office]
  3. Bob Buckhorn, a mayor who knows what he wants, surveys constituents on what they want

    Local

    TAMPA — Focus has not been a problem — or really, even a question — during the six-plus years that Mayor Bob Buckhorn has been in office.

    Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn keeps a digital countdown clock in his office showing the days, hours. minutes and seconds until he is term-limited out of office on April 1, 2019. As of Wednesday, he had 584 days to go. [City of Tampa]
  4. WATCH: Heroic Hooters manager helps two sheriff's deputies subdue unruly customer

    Crime

    BRANDON — The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office praised a heroic Hooters Restaurant manager Wednesday for coming to the aid of two deputies struggling to subdue an unruly customer.

    It took two deputies and a Hooter's manager to get control of Ashton B. Toney after he threatened to kill an employee who refused to serve him alcohol at a Hooter's in Brandon, the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office reported.
[Booking photo from the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office]