Police Union Endorses Kriseman
The Suncoast Police Benevolent Assoc. says St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman helped renew trust in the police department and made all neighorhoods safer.
ST. PETERSBURG – Mayor Rick Kriseman, who is running for reelection, was endorsed by the Suncoast Police Benevolent Assoc. this morning (May 12) during a press conference in Bartlett Park.
“The Suncoast Police Benevolent Association proudly and enthusiastically endorses Mayor Kriseman for re-election,” Suncoast PBA President George Lofton said.
Lofton took the opportunity to favorably compare Kriseman to former Mayor Rick Baker, who announced this week that he’s running to take his old job back.
“Under Rick Baker, the police department had the lowest morale I’ve seen in 27 years. As many as 100 officers a year were leaving the department,” Lofton said. “It’s a new day for the police department with Mayor Kriseman. I’m proud to stand with a mayor who stands with us. The past three years, thanks to the leadership of Mayor Kriseman and Chief [Anthony] Holloway, have renewed trust in our police department, and have made all neighborhoods safer places. This department and this city need another four years of Mayor Kriseman’s leadership.”
St. Petersburg Council member Lisa Wheeler-Bowman added her support, saying, ““Mayor Kriseman and Chief Holloway launched community policing here two years ago. I’ve seen first-hand how well community policing works and it’s a promise that Mayor Kriseman kept. We can’t go backwards to a time when neighborhoods didn’t feel safe sharing crucial information that saves lives and prevents crime. Mayor Kriseman has had a vision for our police department that I have been proud to support. I’m proud of my community. I’m proud of our police department. And I’m proud of Mayor Kriseman.”
Bartlett Park is the place Kriseman and Holloway announced the Park, Walk, and Talk community-oriented policing, During the two years since, Kriseman’s campaign said the program has led to improved neighborhood relationships and increased tips from residents and less crime throughout the city.
Eight years ago in 2009, overall crime was at a decade high, according to the campaign. The crime rate is the lowest it’s been since 2000. Kriseman said he has delivered on his promise to get St. Petersburg’s men and women in uniform the resources they need to do their jobs, while also reinstating programs like community policing to make all neighborhoods safer. In 2014, the campaign said, Kriseman selected Police Chief Anthony Holloway to run the department. The city has broken ground on a police station that will meet the modern needs of our officers and neighborhoods. Under Kriseman, crime has decreased by 6 percent and violent crime decreased by 26 percent, according to the campaign.
“I promised to bring community oriented policing back in my first campaign, and I kept that promise,” Kriseman said. “Tips to the department are up, and crime is down. We’re solving crimes faster, cold cases are being resolved, and that’s because the relationships between the community and our police is growing stronger every day. I’m running for a second term because we can’t go back to the days when our community and our police weren’t talking to each other, when our officers were suffering from low morale, when retention and recruitment were a constant challenge.”
For information about Kriseman, go to kriseman.com.
Photos courtesy of Kriseman for Mayor.
Rick Kriseman | Police Union | Lisa Wheeler-Bowman | George Lofton | Politics | Election | Suncoast PBA | Tampa Bay News | TB Reporter
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