Tampa’s New Chief Of Police Mary O’Connor To Be Sworn In Friday

TAMPA (WFLA) – Seven weeks after Mayor Jane Castor introduced her selection for the 43rd Chief of Police of the Tampa Police Department, Mary O’Connor will be sworn in on Friday morning at the Julian B. Lane River Center.

“My first priority is in connecting with the community,” Chief O’Connor said at the Feb. 8 press conference.

In the weeks leading up to the 4-2 confirmation vote last Thursday at City Hall, members of the community and city council raised concerns about the nomination process.  

“I would ask the administration to start over, be respectful of the public,” council member Bill Carlson said.

Before the vote, 25 out of nearly 40 speakers during public comment endorsed Mayor Castor’s pick to lead Tampa’s police force.

Chief O’Connor beat out interim Chief Ruben Delgado and an external candidate from South Florida.

The mayor didn’t reschedule a forum to introduce the finalists, even though Delgado couldn’t be there due to a death in the family.

“Yes I think he should’ve been at that forum,” Chief O’Connor told News Channel 8.

Chief O’Connor returned to TPD after retiring as Assistant Chief of Operations in 2016.

As a young officer, she was arrested for the battery of a law enforcement officer when she was a passenger during a DUI stop.

Chief O’Connor said she is grateful for her second chance and she’ll always be mindful of that as chief.

“So, I think just like the chance that was given to me 28 years ago to evaluate every respect of my own case, I look forward to doing that with the men and women of this department as well,” she said at the February press conference.

News Channel 8 will have a crew at the swearing-in ceremony that is set to begin at 9:30 a.m.

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