Thursday, October 23rd, 2014

Promises about Public Safety on Buck-O-Meter

Start an incentive program to encourage police to live in the city

"As mayor, Bob Buckhorn will encourage public safety officers to reside in the city by implementing a residency incentive program. This program will provide police officers incentives such as low-interest loans, or down payment assistance."

Continue allowing police to take their police cars home

"Since 1995, Bob Buckhorn has consistently voted for, and has been a vocal advocate for allowing officers to take home their police cars. This policy reduces neighborhood crime and increases employee morale at very little cost to the city. As mayor, Bob will continue this policy."

Strengthen "one strike and you're out" policy in public housing

"Bob Buckhorn will work with the Tampa Housing Authority to strengthen enforcement of the 'One Strike and You’re Out'” policy in public housing."

Strengthen the Nuisance Abatement Board

"Bob Buckhorn will instruct city attorneys to make referrals to the (Nuisance Abatement) Board on chronic nuisance complaints and will give the board additional enforcement authority to effectively enforce against violators."

Launch a public service campaign for bicycle safety

"The Buckhorn administration will launch a public service campaign to educate and alert motorists to bicycle safety rules."

Conduct a city-wide lighting assessment

"Bob Buckhorn will work with TECO to conduct a city-wide lighting assessment to determine where city lights need to be updated, repaired or replaced."

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."

Maintain pension benefits for police

Question (from Tampa Police Benevolent Association): Would you attempt to impose any type of legislation that would reform or reduce the pension benefits that Tampa police officers currently receive? Answer (by Buckhorn): No.

Support the Step Plan for police pay increases

Question (from Tampa Police Benevolent Association): Would you attempt to suspend or eliminate the Step Plan (which, before it was suspended last year, awarded pay increases to officers annually as they work toward becoming master patrol officers in their first 11 years)? Answer (from Buckhorn): "NO. In fact as you recall, I tried unsuccessfully to discourage the (Pam Iorio) administration from doing the same and floated a number of proposals to them that would have avoided that."

Balance rights of citizens to protest at Republican National Convention while keeping downtown safe

During a March 8, 2011, televised debate, Bob Buckhorn was asked how he would balance the rights of citizens to protest during the Republican National Convention with his responsibilities to keep downtown Tampa functioning and safe. He responded: “People who want to express themselves need to be given an opportunity. For me, it’s a very fundamental premise: you break the law, you’re going to jail. Absent that, you’re entitled to say whatever you want to say within reason. But we will conduct ourselves accordingly. Our police department will conduct themselves accordingly. I want to make sure that when the entire world is watching Tampa, Fla. that we stand up and we are proud of this city and that we behave accordingly.”