Chief Castor Temporarily Restructures Command Staff Appoints Two Deputy Chiefs

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Chief Jane Castor is reorganizing the TPD command staff to promote the professional growth of future leaders as the department prepares for major command staff retirements next year. Two new deputy chief positions will replace a vacant assistant chief position. The new positions will report to Chief Castor through Assistant Chief John Bennett. The cost of the reorganization will be covered by reallocation of the current budget and will not increase the overall position count of the department.

Deputy Chief Brian Dugan will continue to oversee the department’s highest profile investigations in his new role as Deputy Chief of Investigations and Support. He will also assume command of the department’s Special Operations and Support Divisions. Dugan played a critical role in the success of the Republican National Convention as the Field Force Commander. During his 24-year career, Dugan has also worked in almost every area of the department including: Criminal Intelligence Bureau, Street-Anti-Crime Unit, Quick Uniform Attack on Drugs Squad (QUAD), Internal Affairs Bureau, Mayor’s Security Detail and as a Field Training Officer.

The newly appointed deputy chief earned a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from West Liberty University and a Master of Public Administration degree from Troy State University. He is a graduate of the prestigious Southern Police Institute’s Command Officers’ Course and the Senior Management Institute for Police. Brian Dugan is married with two children.

Deputy Chief Eric Ward’s experience fighting crime in District III and his years of serving in Special Operations have prepared him for this new post. In his 25-year career, Ward has served as the department's Specialty Teams Commander overseeing K-9, Mounted Patrol, Traffic, Air Service, Marine Patrol, Dive Team, SWAT, Hostage Negotiation Team, Bomb Team, Honor Guard and the Special Incident Management Unit. Ward also served as the Florida Department of Law Enforcement's Region 4 SWAT Commander. Each year, Ward helped oversee security at more than 800 city sponsored events.

Ward’s well-rounded career includes assignments in Patrol, the Criminal Intelligence Bureau, K-9, Gang Suppression Unit, Firehouse Program, Street Anti-Crime Squad and Selective Enforcement Bureau. He is a certified instructor in Defensive Tactics, Fitness and Chemical Agents. Before becoming part of the department’s command staff, Ward was a member of TPD's Tactical Response Team, Honor Guard and Hostage Negotiation Team. He is also a two-time recipient of the department's Officer of the Month Award. Deputy Chief Ward earned a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice from St. Leo University. He is married with two children.

Ward will serve as Deputy Chief of Operations overseeing all three patrol districts.

Major Mary O’Connor brings seven years of experience as a detective and detective supervisor to her new role as commander of the Criminal Investigations Division. For the last year, she has led the Criminal Intelligence Bureau, which is the driving force behind reducing tax fraud in our city. She has an impressive track record of solving cases involving some of the city’s most prolific criminals. She helped launch the department’s cutting edge crime-fighting technology, SAFECOP. O’Connor was hand-picked to familiarize officers with the software that enables them to police smarter using specialized technology. She also serves as a knowledgeable resource for officers in need of technical assistance and training on the computerized crime-fighting platform.

During her 20-year career, O’Connor has supervised large scale operations that have significantly reduced crime in Tampa. She has accumulated a wealth of crime-fighting experience in Field Training, Quick Uniform Attack on Drugs (QUAD) and Patrol. She also spent three years fighting identity theft, fraud and economic crimes as a detective.

Major O’Connor holds a Bachelor of Arts in Criminology from the University of South Florida and a Master of Business Administration from Saint Leo University.

She is married to Major Keith O’Connor and has two children.