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St. Pete Police not worried about plan to reduce military surplus program

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The Obama administration announced Monday plans to scale back on federal military surplus programs used by local police agencies to purchase things like armored vehicles and SWAT gear. The Obama proposal would eliminate bayonets, weaponized vehicles and grenade launchers from available surplus items. It would also make it tougher for local agencies to prove their case for riot gear and certain types of armored vehicles. The move has the national Fraternal Order of Police up in arms, arguing President Barack Obama…

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Ed Montanari nabs Sun Coast PBA endorsement

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The Sun Coast Police Benevolent Association has endorsed City Council candidate Ed Montanari in his District 3 race. “The Sun Coast Police Benevolent Association, Inc. is proud to inform you of its endorsement of your candidacy for St. Petersburg City Council, District 3,” wrote Sun Coast PBA senior vice president George Lofton in a letter. “We will ask our members, their families and friends to cast their votes for you in the general election.” Montanari said he spoke to members…

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Austin Goodner had ‘long history’ with police before shooting St. Pete cop

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More details have emerged in the officer-involved shooting Sunday evening that claimed the life of one 18-year-old boy and left an officer seriously injured with a gunshot wound to the leg. Austin Goodner, a former student at Northeast High School, fled to his home at 5236 Robin Lane just blocks from his former high school. Further investigation of the events show that Goodner was hiding in the yard, perhaps waiting for officers. According to police, when officers first arrived at the…

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18-year old Austin Goodner’s Facebook page show boy who loved to fish, not cop shooter

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Police have identified 18-year old Austin Goodner as the suspect in an officer-involved shooting in which at least one police officer was shot in the leg and Goodner was shot dead. Preliminary information from the St. Petersburg Police Department indicate Goodner was allegedly discharging a firearm when police were called to the scene. Goodner reportedly fled the scene. Officers then received a tip about the young man’s home address. When officer’s arrived, Goodner reportedly fired shots. A 40-year old, ten-year…

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Fate is postponed for St. Pete’s crime-laden New Plaza motel

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After more than five hours of discussion there is still no decision on what will happen to the New Plaza motel on the 400 block of 34 Street North. Owners of that motel and the bar attached to it are in hot water with the city after multiple service calls to the police originated from New Plaza and Cactus Charlie’s bar. The city’s nuisance abatement board heard testimony from the city during a quasi-judicial hearing arguing that owners of the…

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City Council approves $235,000 for new St. Pete Police toys

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St. Pete City Council approved $235,000 for new equipment, technology and training and recruitment during a meeting Thursday. The bulk of the money will pay for dash cams in police cars. The St. Petersburg Police Department will purchase 15 in-vehicle camera systems for use in its Street Crimes Unit. Those vehicles are not currently equipped for video. The cameras will turn on automatically when the vehicle’s lights are activated. Officers can also turn the cameras on manually from the vehicle…

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How not to get your bike stolen – don’t be me

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When you’re a reporter with a medium to share important information, crappy things happening to you become someone else’s forewarning. A while back when my identity got stolen, I shared the process – start to finish – of how to navigate the nightmare that is dealing with various different reports and such. This time, my bike, along with my boyfriend’s, got jacked. In broad daylight. In front of people watching. While it was locked up. Seriously. So, apparently this is…

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