Hail To The New Chief

Bennie Holder. Stephen Hogue. Jane Castor. There’s a pattern in Tampa Police Chiefs. They keep getting better. St. Petersburg should take note – and notes.


Hogue, the consummate professional whose six-year tenure ends this month, was a major upgrade. But even Hogue concedes that eventually Castor “is going to be recognized as the best police chief this city has ever had.” It was more than press conference hyperbole.


Castor, 49, can’t avoid the historic credentials. She is Tampa’s first female police chief, and she is openly gay. Much more to her credit than precedent, however, is the consensus that she is so much more than a pioneer-role model-future icon. She is so much more than the ninth female police chief in Florida. She is the right person for the right reason.  


The Tampa native and Chamberlain High grad is the embodiment of modern law enforcement: a well-educated and well-rounded careerist. She has a bachelor’s degree in criminology from the University of Tampa – where she had been recruited with a basketball/volleyball scholarship. And she has a master’s in public administration from Troy State University. She’s also a graduate of the FBI National Academy.


And supervisors and peers will tell you she’s so much more than an impressive resume. Traits such as “common sense” and “quick study” are frequently referenced in descriptions of Castor. She’s principled – but not Peter Principled. Personally, she’s known to be “popular” with the rank and file and to manifest “good rapport” with the public.


And with 25 years on the Tampa Police Force — from corporal to sergeant to lieutenant to captain to major to assistant chief – she knows this community like few could. She knows the streets and has worked everything from narcotics to sex crimes.


She also knows the big picture issues – and has first-hand experience with the complementary priorities and synergies of police work and national security. Since 2005, she has managed a $56-million budget for the Department of Homeland Security’s Tampa Bay Urban Area Security Initiative.


Jane Castor is the total, modern law-enforcement package. She is now Tampa’s top cop – and Tampa couldn’t be luckier.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *