Monday, October 20th, 2014

Buck-O-Meter

Maintain the size of the police force


"Question (from Tampa Police Benevolent Association): Would you consider the continued reduction of police officers through attrition or layoffs of police officers as a way to cut costs within the department or the overall city budget? Please explain. Answer: (by Buckhorn): No. The city of Tampa has coverage of 3 officers per thousand citizens, which is adequate. I think one of the reasons we have (been) successful at reducing crime is because of the number of officers we have patrolling the streets."

Updates

Size of Tampa police force holds steady in first budget

Mayor Bob Buckhorn won final Tampa City Council approval on Sept. 21, 2011, for a 2011-12 fiscal year budget that does not include any reduction in the number of officers at the Tampa Police Department.

The department has 975 authorized positions for sworn officers. During his campaign for mayor, Buckhorn was asked whether he would consider reducing the number of police officers through attrition or layoffs. He said no.

"The city of Tampa has coverage of 3 officers per thousand citizens, which is adequate,” he said. "I think one of the reasons we have (been) successful at reducing crime is because of the number of officers we have patrolling the streets."

While his budget eliminates 21 vacant positions in other city departments, none of those are in the Police Department.

The City Council approved the budget by a vote of 6-0 (Council Chairman Charlie Miranda was absent).

Buckhorn promised not to cut the police force, and his first budget as mayor maintains the department at its current size even as other departments are reduced.

We rate this as a Promise Kept.

Sources:

Tampa Police Benevolent Association questionnaire for mayoral candidates, accessed Sept. 21, 2011

Interview with Mayor Bob Buckhorn, July 18, 2011

Interview with Tampa police spokeswoman Andrea Davis, Sept. 21, 2011