Scott Sends More FHP Troopers to Seminole Heights
Four murders have been committed in the area since Oct. 9. The reward is up to $100,000, with law enforcement partners, community groups, and private citizens contributing.
TAMPA – To help the Tampa Police Department’s efforts to keep the Seminole Heights neighborhood safe, Gov. Rick Scott today (Nov. 16) directed the Florida Highway Patrol to deploy additional officers to the area.
These officers will work with Tampa police to enhance their efforts in patrolling the neighborhood to increase safety. The deployment of FHP troopers is in addition to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s Tampa Bay Regional Operations Center who has a squad of agents assigned to neighborhood canvassing. FDLE also has agents assigned to vet leads and is providing analytical assistance. FDLE lab analysts continue to process numerous items of evidence. FDLE has also contributed $10,000 to the Crime Stoppers reward.
Scott said, “Safety is our top priority, and we are glad to provide additional state resources from the Florida Highway Patrol and FDLE to the Tampa Police Department to assist in their efforts. I have spoken with Tampa police Chief Brian Dugan and Mayor Bob Buckhorn to offer any resources they may need from the state of Florida. Everyone in the area should continue to listen to local law enforcement who have been working day and night to keep families safe. I am fully confident that our brave law enforcement will bring whoever is responsible for these senseless acts to justice. Our hearts break for the victims of these crimes and their loved ones. Today, we are making it clear – Florida has zero tolerance for violence and crime, and we will stop at nothing to keep our communities safe.”
The reward money for information that helps solve the Seminole Heights homicides has now increased to $100,000, with law enforcement partners, community groups, and private citizens contributing. The total stood at $91,000 on Wednesday (Nov. 15) and today restaurateur Richard Gonzmart pledged $9,000 to bring the total to $100,000.
Here’s how the reward money adds up. Law enforcement partners have contributed $85,000. That includes funds from ATF, Crime Stoppers, FDLE, and the FBI. In addition, the community has raised more than $6,000, including funds from a fundraiser held at the Brew Bus, a donation from the Southeast Seminole Heights Civic Association, a donation from Liberty Property Management, and Gonzmart and the Columbia Restaurant Group.
“The support from the community and our law enforcement partners has been inspiring,” Dugan said. “I can’t thank them enough for stepping up. The reward money is truly impressive, and that’s only one of the many ways that people are showing their support.”
Buckhorn said, “Finding this killer is a community effort and Richard Gonzmart and the Columbia Restaurant Group have always been fantastic community partners who lead by example. We need to and will find who’s committing these heinous, senseless murders and when we do, it will be because of people like Richard, the Seminole Heights community, Tampa Police Department and our partners in the law enforcement community who have poured their blood, sweat and tears into bringing this killer to justice.”
Anyone with any information is urged to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-873-TIPS (8477).
For information about the Florida Highway Patrol, go to flhsmv.gov.
Tampa Police | Florida Highway Patrol | FHP | Seminole Heights | Rick Scott | Bob Buckhorn | Crime | Murders | Tampabay News
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