Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tarpon Springs plans to fill police chief position, vacant since 2008

TARPON SPRINGS — The city will soon have a new police chief.

Earlier this month, the City Commission directed City Manager Mark LeCouris to fill the position, which has been vacant since LeCouris stepped down in June 2008 to become interim city manager.

In February 2009, LeCouris was named full-time city manager. Capt. Bob Kochen has served as acting police chief since June 2008.

"I believe it is time for this board to ask our city manager to fill that position," Commissioner Jeff Larsen said.

"I believe having clear leadership within the Police Department is the right thing to do in terms of public safety and the fair thing to do for the men and women serving in our Police Department."

LeCouris, who has the authority to hire and fire the police chief, said he will have a formal process in place this week. The commission authorized an in-house hire.

"I want to make sure I'm getting all the rules and know exactly what my requirements are," LeCouris said. "I want to make sure it's the simplest process possible and that we pick the best person for chief. It's not that easy of a decision."

Kochen and Capt. Jeff Young will be considered.

Kochen, 44, has been with the department for 21 years. Before that, he was a Clearwater police officer. Kochen has been an administrative captain since February 1999.

Young, 43, was raised in Tarpon Springs and is a Tarpon Springs High graduate. He has been with the department for 17 years. Young was promoted to operations captain in March 2006.

Tarpon's Police Department administrative structure has a chief, two captains and a lieutenant. Kochen and Young are the captains and Barb Templeton is the lieutenant. The department has 49 sworn officers.

The police chief position has remained vacant to streamline the city's budget. LeCouris said he will freeze a captain's position or promote a lieutenant and freeze that position, depending on what the new chief wants.

"Whoever makes the chief, it is not going to be a substantial raise," LeCouris said. "We just want to make sure their heart and soul is Tarpon Springs. As long as I see that in the selection, that's what makes the difference."

Demorris A. Lee can be reached at or (727) 445-4174

Tarpon Springs plans to fill police chief position, vacant since 2008 06/15/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, June 15, 2010 8:47pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. After offseason of work hard, play hard, DeSean Jackson ready to produce for Bucs


    TAMPA — There's no telling what DeSean Jackson will do once he gets a football in his hands. Perhaps that's why a camera crew followed his every move Wednesday while the Bucs' new $30 million receiver stood on a step of the hot tub that empties into a spacious, azure pool at his new, sprawling five-bedroom home in …

    DeSean Jackson jokes around with girlfriend Kayla Phillips at their Tampa home as a crew from HBO’s Hard Knocks documents their day.
  2. Trump announces $10 billion Foxconn plant in Wisconsin


    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump said Wednesday that electronics giant Foxconn will build a $10 billion factory in Wisconsin that's expected to initially create 3,000 jobs, the largest economic development project in state history.

    President Donald Trump embraces Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker in the East Room of the White House during an announcement Wednesday that Foxconn is going to build a plant in Wisconsin.
  3. Playoff chase heats up for Rays with critical series at Yankees up first (w/ video)

    The Heater


    It was important that Evan Longoria crushed a two-run homer in the sixth inning Wednesday and Steven Souza Jr. blasted a solo shot off the farthest catwalk an inning later.

    Adeiny Hechavarria (11) and Tim Beckham (1) celebrate the double play to end the top of the sixth inning. [WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times]
  4. Conservatives come to Sessions' defense amid Trump attacks


    WASHINGTON — Congressional Republicans and influential conservatives rallied around Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Wednesday as President Donald Trump kept up his public pelting of the nation's top law enforcement officer and left his future in doubt.

    Attorney General Jeff Sessions
  5. Jones: Alex Cobb proves again why he's Rays' stopper, no matter how long he's here (w/ video)

    The Heater


    If a team hopes to hang around the pennant race, it better have an ace. A stopper. A pitcher it can count on every fifth day to stop the bleeding, keep a winning streak going or flat-out win a game that a team flat-out needs to win.

    Rays starting pitcher Alex Cobb (53) throwing the first inning. [WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times]