Tampa Police Department's Outdoor Festival Marks 25 Years of Community Partnership The annual Black History Celebration was started in 1988 to strengthen the relationship between police and residents

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Free for the public to attend

What: Mayor Bob Buckhorn and Chief Jane Castor will recognize retired police Sergeant Rufus Lewis for his continued commitment to serving the citizens of Tampa.

When: Saturday, February 23, 2013
Event - 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Mayor and Chief award presentation - 1:30 p.m.

Where: Police Athletic League, 1924 West Diana Street, Tampa


The Tampa Police Department is inviting residents to enjoy a day filled with entertainment, historical exhibits and community outreach services during its 25th Annual Black History Celebration. This is the first time the department is hosting its annual celebration outdoors in a festival-style atmosphere. The department's Black History Committee themed the event, "Meet Me at the Park," to promote the department's efforts in bringing cops and citizens together in positive environments. The celebration will feature a variety of food and merchandise vendors, interactive activities for children and a locally designed mural that pays tribute to African-Americans in law enforcement. Non-profit agencies will also be on site to provide free health screenings and job search assistance. The event is free for the public to attend.

Mayor Bob Buckhorn and Chief Jane Castor will present retired police Sergeant Rufus Lewis with this year's Unsung Hero award. Lewis is receiving this distinguished award for his continued service to Tampa's citizens through his mentorship with the city's children. He is considered one of the pioneers who worked tirelessly to help minorities overcome employment obstacles in the department. The Tampa Police Department hired Lewis as patrol officer in 1967 and he retired as a sergeant in 1983.

Janelle McGregor