Tampa’s newest police chief will be Eric Ward. The current Assistant Chief of Operations will replace retiring Police Chief Jane Castor, whose last day is next Friday, May 8, 2015. Mayor Bob Buckhorn announced his appointment of Ward, an African-American, on Thursday afternoon.
“Eric Ward is the right person to lead the Tampa Police Department. Eric grew up in this community, and he has a unique understanding of the challenges and opportunities that exit as we continue to make Tampa a better place to live, work and raise a family,” said Mayor Buckhorn.
“Within the department, Eric is known as a quiet force, and his methodical demeanor and certitude will serve him, the department, and our city.” Mayor Buckhorn added.
Chief Ward grew up in East Tampa, played little league in Elmont Heights and graduated from Hillsborough High School. He is a 27 year veteran of the Tampa Police Department and joined it in 1988. Ward rose through the ranks. He has worked in Patrol, the Criminal Intelligence Bureau, K-9, Gang Suppression Unit, Firehouse Program, Street Anti-Crime Squad and Selective Enforcement Bureau. As a police department commander, Ward also was a member of the Tactical Response Team, Honor Guard and Hostage Negotiation team.
With shooting deaths, violent crime on the rise and community distrust of police officers, Chief Ward said he would like to increase community-police interaction and training and add special narcotics and investigative units to every Tampa Police Department district.
Ward graduated from St. Leo University with Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice. He is married and has two children. They live in West Tampa.
For more about Chief Ward, visit the Tampa Police Department’s Facebook page.
Source: http://www.tampagov.net, Tampa Police Department, TPD Twitter