Tampa names first female Chief of Police
Following her confirmation by the Tampa City Council on October 1, 2009, Assistant Chief Jane Castor will become Tampa’s first female Chief of Police in that department’s history. Castor — just 49 years old — has served the citizens of Tampa since joining that city’s Police Department in 1984 as a graduate of the Tampa Police Academy. Castor will take over for retiring Police Chief Stephen Hogue.
During her 25 years of service with the Tampa Police Department, Castor has held many positions in several areas including patrol, narcotics, family violence and sex crimes, and criminal intelligence. She has been promoted through the ranks, serving as Corporal, Sergeant, Lieutenant, Captain, and Major before being promoted to the position of Assistant Chief.
“I humbly accept the new challenge and I look forward to working with the officers and citizens as Chief of Police to continue improving our community,” Chief Castor told PoliceOne.
Chief Castor’s immediate goals for the department and the city are:
1. Using homeland security technology to fine tune how we reduce crime
2. In these tough economic times, do more with less
3. Streamline police operations without impacting service to the community
Street Survival Instructor Betsy Brantner Smith told PoliceOne, “I had the privilege of meeting Chief Castor at the 2009 NAWLEE Conference, where I was a presenter. She is a true warrior—a cop’s cop. She is an outstanding role model not just for women, but all law enforcement leaders or those who someday aspire to be.”
As a Major in 2004, Castor was instrumental in helping develop and execute the department’s crime reduction plan. As the Commander of Police Operations, she has played a critical role in carrying out the mission to reduce crime. Castor was selected to lead the Department of Homeland Security’s Tampa Bay Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI), developing from its infancy a $56 million program that makes the Tampa Bay area less vulnerable to a terrorist attack and better equipped to respond to a natural disaster.
A Tampa-native, she is a Big Sister through Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Tampa Bay, an active volunteer with Paint Your Heart Out Tampa, Adopt a Family and the Hillsborough River Clean Up and has worked closely with the Boys and Girls Club.
This year, Castor was named Law Enforcement Executive of the Year by the National Association of Women Law Enforcement Executives.
When Chief Hogue was appointed in 2003, Tampa had one of the highest crime rates in the country for a city of its size. In a very short period of time, Chief Hogue has achieved unprecedented success in working to reduce the crime rate. In 2002 there were 35,380 Part I crimes — in 2008 that number was cut nearly in half at 18,473.
Hallmarks among his many accomplishments, Chief Hogue restructured the police department with a heavy focus on crime analysis and proactive policing, he cultivated strong community partnerships, established department-wide community oriented policing, ensured a smooth and safe Super Bowl XLIII with a flawless security plan, moved police officers from desk jobs to street patrol, and implemented a state-of-the-art radio system that greatly improved officer safety and ensured officers can communicate with other area first responders during both daily operations and natural disasters.
In a written statement furnished to PoliceOne, Chief Hogue said, “This is a happy day going into retirement and kind of a sad day because I am leaving a lot of friends, a lot memories and a big part of my life. “It has been an absolute honor to serve as police chief of Tampa for the last six years. There’s no other way to put it.”
Chief Hogue will retire from the Tampa Police Department officially on September 30, 2009.