The Temple Terrace Police Department, a suburban municipality near Tampa, Fla., promoted a street cop yesterday. Temple Terrace Police Chief Ken Albano pinned a police corporal's badge upon the uniform shirt of Senior Police Officer Jacob Palmerton, promoting him to a squad supervisor position responsible for several patrol officers.
The ceremony, held today in council chambers at the Temple Terrace City Hall building, marked a milestone for Corporal Palmerton, formerly ranked as a senior police officer (SPO).
Newly-minted Corporal Palmerton will share the reigns among a patrol squad of police officers assigned on midnight shift.
Born in Buffalo, NY, Palmerton attained his college degree in Criminal Justice at Buffalo State University. Thereafter, Palmerton relocated to West-Central Florida in the Tampa Bay area, in pursuit of his law enforcement aspiration.
His police career would begin on the Gulf Coast of Florida, with the St. Petersburg Police Department in St. Petersburg, Fla. While a police officer with the SPPD between 2002-2005, Palmerton experienced much seasoning as a street cop.
In 2004, Palmerton was involved in a shooting while patrolling the streets of St. Petersburg. That particular perpetrator (shooter) was apprehended, convicted and given a life sentence in prison. Thus, Palmerton knew well the perils of being a young police officer confronting societies woes.
Having commenced his law enforcement career as a police recruit in the St. Petersburg police academy, Palmerton had the fortune of working with two very dedicated, special street cops: Jeffrey Yaslowitz and Sgt. Tom Baitinger. Sadly, both officers were slain in the line of duty on January 24, 2011 while attempting to serve an arrest warrant at a St. Petersburg home.
Earlier in his law enforcement career as a rookie policeman, Corporal Palmerton had partnered with Yaslowitz on "some of the nastiest streets in south St. Petersburg," he recalled. Moreover, "I was a police recruit and assigned to Police Officer Thomas Baitinger who was my Field Training Officer." Thus, on that fateful day in January 2011, two dearly-close police family members were taken violently, having a significant impact on Palmerton.
"This was one of the toughest days of my law enforcement career...when Yaslowitz and Baitinger were shot and killed," Palmerton intimated.
Several years prior to the duty deaths of both Sgt. Baitinger and Police Canine Officer Yaslowitz, Palmerton sought a change in locale and joined the Temple Terrace police force in 2005.
Assigned to the TTPD Patrol Division, Palmerton was known as an active officer among his squad, recording a significant number of drug arrests. Narcotics investigations remain a forte' of his.
Similar to his duty spent with the SPPD, Corporal Palmerton was aggressive in his formative years as a Temple Terrace cop. With a focus on advancement and availing himself to new challenges, he competed for and was accepted as a member of the Temple Terrace Police ERT (SWAT team), served as a Special Enforcement Unit officer (undercover investigations), and taught newly-hired police recruits as a Field Training Officer (emulating Sgt. Baitinger in the process).
During his empirically-busy duty swings, Palmerton also serves on the Temple Terrace Police Department's "use-of-force" review board. As well, he serves on its "police pursuit" review board, assuring all agency protocols are in compliance. It remains most evident how invested he is not only in himself, but also in the police department and in the citizenry for whom he serves.
As often is tradition among law enforcement agencies, Palmerton worked the streets, engaged in varied police work experiences, and advanced to his pinnacle position which was granted today by police administration.
Corporal Palmerton's responsibilities will entail leading patrol officers as each responds to calls for service, investigates criminal and civil complaints, and requires any fashion of guidance.
With the varied duty assignments, special teams involvement, and review board experiences, it stands to reason each of these aforementioned forays, melded together, will facilitate Palmerton's supervisory abilities.
Studying, applying for, and then taking a written and oral examination with high scores overall was rewarded with this promotion. With cumulative years in law enforcement from a combination of both agencies --SPPD and TTPD-- Corporal Palmerton is positioned to self-groom even further.
The next potential post is as a squad sergeant in the Patrol Division or, laterally, as a supervisor among a special teams faction such as the Special Investigations Unit (undercover work), the Criminal Investigations Unit (detectives), or in any other of the myriad police assignments opportunities
From the formative years until this very day in the police career of Corporal Palmerton, a staple catch-phrase remains foremost in his thoughts, deeds, and tutelage over others: "Live every day like it is your last." Notwithstanding the self-sacrifice, rewards come to fruition.
Indeed, Corporal Palmerton's celebration of promotion was mixed with the death of his mother-in-law yesterday, the day before he would receive his hard-earned promotion in rank. Mixed blessings abound and shape a man into what he is destined to become
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