Now that Dontae Morris has been captured and life can begin to return to normal in Tampa — at least for some, certainly not the grief-struck families impacted by Morris’ actions — I believe it’s fair to look objectively at one of the aspects of this story: the bold, strong leadership of Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio and Police Chief Jane Castor, which should be contrasted with the nebulous relationships St. Petersburg Police Chief Chuck Harmon has had with Mayors Baker and Foster.
Writer-in-residence Henry Boxlor weighs in:
Early in the morning a week ago the horror of horrors occurred when two Tampa police officers were gunned down. Immediately cast onto the scene were Police Chief Jane Castor and Mayor Pam Iorio. For the next 6 days they stood side by side comforting a grieving City and leading an enraged Police Department while answering virtually every question from the media. At times emotional, we all cried with them, they were always in charge. Castor leading the Department promising justice, but demanding professionalism, and Mayor Iorio always beside her Chief, with words of support for the men and women of the Tampa PD and encouragement for the public.
While horrific in itself, the event revealed two determined public servants sworn to server their community, all of their community, and dedicated to fulfill that oath. The grief will continue and the memories will remain. It was a terrible yet uplifting week. Politics often overshadows the depth of commitment by those who choose to serve. Last week was a class act. Leadership at its finest, when Tampa needed it most. The citizens of Tampa should sleep well tonight. They are in strong, determined, capable hands.