A group of 17 various police chiefs and police commanders, from jurisdictions across the nation, is visiting the Tampa Police Department (TPD) in Tampa, Fla. The purpose of these law enforcement administrators is to glean as much as possible from TPD's crime-fighting measures and how the agency accomplishes its objectives and fulfills its mission.
TPD's handling of the Republican National Convention (RNC) in August 2012 was a huge success, especially as it relates to order and safety of millions of people from all over the world in attendance.
The Tampa Police Department was monetarily infused with $50 million dollars of federal government grant money to prepare for the RNC. Tampa Police Chief Jane Castor and her police administration keenly spent the funding on police equipment determined for use at the RNC.
Hundreds of police bicycles, technological equipment --hundreds of closed-circuit camera systems were mounted about the city's utility poles-- and vast numbers of law enforcement officers were added to the blueprint which made TPD's handling of the RNC such a tremendous success.
The RNC, coupled with this past weekend's Gasparilla Pirate Festival --said to be Tampa's largest party event each year, attracting spectators and enormous volumes of people and boating traffic-- both serve the visiting police executives well in that they physically get to witness how the Tampa police force handles its large public functions.
Chief Jane Castor espouses utilizing any technological means at her department's disposal, including Segways so that her police officers can more easily cut through crowds and act upon forays among heavily populated events.
The Gasparilla Pirate Festival was in-progress while the visiting police administrators were in town.
The gist of the symposium is to allow other police leaders a glimpse at how Tampa police executives utilize the latest technological advances and equipment to thwart criminal events and maintain a safe city environment. Tampa Police Chief Jane Castor hosted the cadre of visiting police executives and exposed her department so that others' leaders can take their respective law enforcement agencies into a technological age ripe with crime-fighting advancements.
The police chief from Anne Arundel County Police Department, Kevin Davis, was one of the visiting police leaders from Maryland. Chief Davis spoke with local Tampa Bay media about his visit to Tampa and what he has garnered with pertinence to how TPD performs and how it succeeds in using technology as a police entity.
The Tampa Police Department touts its success with the Tampa Police Facebook page and its many apps set up for the citizens it serves to seamlessly correspond with law enforcement officials and to keep abreast of all the police department is accomplishing.
A relatively new staple ingredient in Tampa's array of technological use is in its Twitter feed, dubbed a "Tweet-along", during which the public can directly communicate with Tampa cops patrolling the streets by using a Twitter-feed connection. Citizens can follow along as the Tampa police officers respond to calls, effect arrests, and investigate all manner of crimes.
The "Tweet-along" concept affords the public an educated view of what the police do, how they perform their difficult tasks, and why they operate in an often misunderstood fashion.
As a large metropolitan police entity, with 1100-plus sworn cops and hundreds of civilian members, the Tampa Police Department has positioned itself as a role model agency in that it is viewed as a law enforcement entity which optimally utilizes technology at its disposal and generates successful results, enough to gain the attention of police leaders from around the nation.
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