Tampa Police Introduce New Initiative to Strengthen Ties with Military Community
For Immediate Release
For additional information, please contact:
Janelle H. McGregor, Tampa Police Department Spokesperson
More than 250 employees at the Tampa Police Department are now authorized to wear pins on their uniforms that reflect their branch of military service.
Tampa, Florida (May 22, 2018) - A new liaison is now hitting the streets to help bridge the relationship between law enforcement and the military community. Mayor Bob Buckhorn and Chief Brian Dugan introduced the department’s Military Affairs Liaison, Detective Sue Libertz, during a press conference at police headquarters. In addition to her duties as a detective she will also function as a resource for police employees and community members who have served, or are currently serving, in our Nation’s Armed Forces.
An estimated 22,000 veterans live in Tampa, which is the only city in the nation with two major military command posts—U.S. Central Command and the U.S. Special Operations Command Center. “Make no mistake, Tampa is a military town,” said Mayor Bob Buckhorn. “I believe that this aggressive initiative will make a difference in the lives of those veterans we come across, and I know by extension it will make a difference in our community as a whole.”
When police employees return after deployment, the Military Affairs Liaison will help reintegrate them back to their law enforcement duties. Chief Brian Dugan views the liaison position as an investment in the health and welfare of his department, which currently employs 265 active or retired military personnel. “We have to work with them when they’re deployed to make sure their families are taken care of, and when they return we have to ensure our agency has the necessary resources they need to help them get re-acclimated to their home life and their work life.”
Through community partnerships, the Military Affairs Liaison will have the ability to direct service members to a wealth of resources that are available to them in Tampa. The Hillsborough County Thirteenth Circuit Court; Crisis Center of Tampa Bay; MacDill Air Force Base; Hillsborough County Medical Examiners Department; The Life Center of the Suncoast; Quarles & Brady LLP; and Bay Area Legal Services, Incorporated will work closely with the Military Affairs Liaison to help ensure the police department’s outreach to the military community thrives.
In addition to the new liaison, Tampa Police employees are now authorized to wear uniform pins that reflect their branch of military service. The pins further demonstrate the police department’s commitment to strengthening relationships and honoring those who serve our country.
Chief Dugan remarked, “…not every veteran out there has PTSD or is ‘broken’ sometimes they just need someone to talk to who understands their military experience, or assistance with transitioning to civilian life so they can continue to be heroes at home.”