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Tampa's Community Policing

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Awardee County
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $167,289)

Gun violence in the United States has taken a tragic and unprecedented turn in recent years, with murders rising nearly 40% since 2019, and violent crime including non-fatal shootings and assaults spiking faster than at any time in modern history (FBI, 2022). This trend has been observed across the nation, as well as in Florida specifically. Unfortunately, in 2020, violent crime rose by 68% compared to 2019. Tampa’s homicide rate is approximately 50% higher than state and national averages and double the city’s homicide rate in 2017 (FDLE, 2022).

In response to the unprecedented increase in violence, the Tampa Police Department (TPD) has taken a decentralized enforcement approach. Strategic Engagement Units (SEU), which comprise of 141 total officers, assigned to 15 squads that cover dayshift, evenings and midnights are strategically deployed in all three districts. Each squad falls under the SEU “umbrella” and while violent crime reduction is their collective focus, each squad has different core functions to combat violent crime.

Complementary to the enforcement side of reducing violent crime is the prevention side and community engagement. TPD has dedicated Community Partnership and Engagement (CPE) officers who are spread throughout the City and tasked with establishing better relationships between the agency and the community they serve. These officers are able to conduct a vast array of community outreach programs and events to strengthen the bond between law enforcement and our community. This in turn will reinforce the trust and legitimacy in the department as a crucial cog in the wellbeing of the community.

The Tampa Police Department will utilize the 2023 Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program funds for personnel overtime which provides additional resources for crime reduction initiatives.

Date Created: September 26, 2023