Chief Jane Castor Promotes 23 of TPD's Finest Mike Baumaister Appointed as New Major over Special Operations Division

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Major Mike Baumaister

Major Baumaister played a critical role in the success of the Republican National Convention as the Commander of the Criminal Intelligence Bureau. He led a team of detectives that worked hand-in-hand with the FBI gathering intelligence on law breakers planning to cause trouble during the event. This investigative work allowed the Tampa Police Department to prevent any disruption during the event.

Before leading the Criminal Intelligence Bureau, Major Baumaister supervised the Internal Affairs Bureau, overseeing the department's professional standards. During his 18-year career, he has worked as a lieutenant in District II and served as a sergeant in charge of the Family Violence and Sex Crimes squad as well as a supervisor of a top producing downtown patrol squad.

When the department was developing crime analysis methods to reduce crime, Baumaister launched the first Crime Analysis Unit. This helped pave the way for the dramatic reduction in crime over the next 10 years. He was soon promoted to corporal and continued to supervise and expand that unit. He put together a Tactical Crime Analysis team and was tasked with hiring, training and developing real-time information reports for the districts to further reduce crime. Crime analysis continues to be a vital part of the department's crime reduction success.

The newly appointed major earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Criminology from the University of South Florida. He is a recent graduate of the prestigious FBI National Academy. He and his wife Chrissy have two children, Matthew, 14 and Hailey, 10.

Captain Eric Ward

Captain Eric Ward will bring his array of experience to the District III community. For the last four years, he has served as the department's Specialty Teams Commander. He managed 11 teams including: 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 serves 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.

In his 25-year career, he has served in Patrol, the Criminal Intelligence Bureau, Gang Suppression Unit, Firehouse Program, Street Anti-Crime Squad and Selective Enforcement Bureau. Ward is a certified instructor in Defensive Tactics, Fitness and Chemical Agents. He previously served on 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.

Captain Ward earned a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice from St. Leo University. He is married with two children.

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