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Biden to meet with Tampa’s mayor, police chief on Friday

Mayor Jane Castor and Police Chief Mary O’Connor will travel to the White House to discuss federal relief spending’s effectiveness in Tampa.
Mary O'Connor, left, acknowledges her supporters with Tampa Mayor Jane Castor, right, moments before being sworn in as the 43rd Chief of Police of the Tampa Police Department at her Swearing-In Ceremony on Friday, March 25, 2022, at the Tampa River Center at Julian B Lane Riverfront Park in Tampa.
Mary O'Connor, left, acknowledges her supporters with Tampa Mayor Jane Castor, right, moments before being sworn in as the 43rd Chief of Police of the Tampa Police Department at her Swearing-In Ceremony on Friday, March 25, 2022, at the Tampa River Center at Julian B Lane Riverfront Park in Tampa. [ DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times ]
Published May 12|Updated May 12

TAMPA — Tampa Mayor Jane Castor and Police Chief Mary O’Connor will be among local elected officials who will meet with President Joe Biden at the White House on Friday to discuss how cities have benefited from increased federal spending during the pandemic.

The hourlong meeting will also include top-ranking Biden administration officials including Susan Rice, director of the Domestic Policy Council, and Gene Sperling, who is the administration point person on the American Rescue Plan, according to Lauren Rozyla, a Castor spokesperson.

According to White House officials, the meeting will focus on the American Rescue Plan, the $1.9 trillion relief plan that congressional Democrats passed in 2021. Specifically, Castor and O’Connor will be among those discussing how the plan increased spending on community policing and public safety programs.

Tampa received about $80 million in federal relief funds, including nearly $20 million that the city has pegged to renovate fire stations, buy police and fire vehicles, pay for body-worn cameras and cover other costs, according to a city breakdown provided to the Tampa Bay Times in March.

Rozyla confirmed that Castor and O’Connor are making the trip Thursday afternoon, but declined further comment.

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