Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Officer and Employee of the Month April 2015


Detective Travis Maus has been a member of the District Two DLIS since September 2012 and is currently assigned as the Cycle ‘A’ adverse detective.  In this capacity, he has played a major role in many significant arrests.  His investigative skills and attention to detail have greatly enhanced the crime fight in District Two, by allowing cases to be quickly closed by arrest.

Detective Maus had a major role in a pattern of eight violent armed robberies, mainly targeting females who were alone and walking to their residences.  He worked with District Two ROC and DLIS to identify known offenders in the area and generated a map with the offense locations and the suspect’s direction of travel.  When the suspect was apprehended by ROC officers, Detective Maus was able to establish a rapport with him and gain crucial confessions to all of the robberies, ending this robbery pattern.

During an investigation of the armed robbery of a taxi driver, a suspect was identified.  Using his interviewing skills, Detective Maus was able to establish a rapport with the suspect and gain a confession.  The confession served as essential evidence in this case.

During the investigation of an armed burglary, where numerous firearms were removed from a residence in the Sulphur Springs area, Detective Maus was able to view video surveillance footage.  He recognized the suspect as a known offender with a lengthy criminal history.  He created a bulletin that was used to confirm the identity of the suspect by a third party.  A warrant was obtained and the suspect was taken into custody and provided a confession.

These are just a few examples of Detective Maus’ outstanding performance during March 2015.  He always makes himself available to patrol and ROC officers when they need his assistance or expertise in conducting investigations.  He spends much of his time on the street, interacting with officers and citizens to gain valuable intelligence into emerging crime patterns.

In recognition of his exemplary performance and dedication to the department and the citizens of Tampa, Detective Travis Maus has been selected as the Officer of the Month for April 2015.


Elsie Honrada-Stacy has been employed by the Tampa Police Department as an Evidence Technician since August 2, 2004.  She is very well versed in her role and is constantly looking for ways to improve the Evidence Section.

Over the past year, the section has been struggling with space and, due to time constraints, found it difficult to consolidate property to make room for new property.  Elsie recognized the need and took the steps to correct it on her own.  An inventory of electronic media, consisting of 7,065 pieces of evidence, was being done.  She volunteered to take on the huge task of completing the inventory, researching discrepancies, and locating every piece of evidence.  She went a step further to consolidate the area, as she conducted the inventory.

Elsie also took exception to the fact that the Evidence Section had run out of room in the gun vault and had to resort to storing firearms in another locked room.  The main gun vault has rolling shelves for easy access.  The new room had different types of storage, causing firearms to be stacked one on top of the other.  Long firearms were falling over in the room due to inadequate storage locations.  Sometimes heavy firearms were stored in boxes on top shelves.  Since this is the overflow area, the firearms most recently received were placed in this area.  These firearms needed to be accessed more but were harder to get to.  She recognized this problem and volunteered to re-organize the area.  Single handedly, she pulled all of the newer firearms out of the overflow room.  She then started with the oldest gun and pulled them from the vault, placing them into the new room.  She did this until the new room was filled.  This consisted of all handguns from 1975 through late 2011.  She had some floor space so she moved long firearms from 1975 through 2007, keeping them in place with a bungee cord in an upright position.  Once this was completed, she consolidated the remaining firearms in the vault in order to keep them sequential.  The newer firearms were then moved into the vault.  She scanned the items as they were moved, keeping the records of their location current.  This task was not only physically labor intensive, but took concentration and organization at the same time.

In recognition of her hard work and dedication, making the Evidence Section more efficient, Elsie Honrada-Stacy has been selected as the Employee of the Month for April 2015.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Officer and Employee of the Month - March 2015


Officer Michael McNamara is assigned to the District II ROC squad.  Prior to this, he was assigned as a community police officer, whose primary responsibility is developing intelligence, analyzing crime patterns in the District II, and enforcing the law through education and proactive enforcement.

Mike has demonstrated tremendous personal growth in his assigned area, and the knowledge he possesses has greatly benefitted the department’s goal of crime reduction.  He understands the necessity of documentation and information sharing, which he demonstrates through linkage in VERSADEX and blogging via SAFECOP.  He takes great pride and has dedicated significant effort to addressing problems and reducing crimes within Sulphur Springs community.

A shooting that occurred in District II resulting in a subject being shot in the arm.  The initial investigation was void of witnesses, suspect information or workable leads.  Upon returning to work, Mike was requested to look into the shooting.  During his reinvestigation, he was able to obtain five sworn statements and provided a detailed supplement, which culminated in an arrest warrant being issued and subsequent arrest of a known gang member.

While creating an information offender’s list in the district, Mike was monitoring radio traffic and heard a BOLO regarding an auto burglary suspect.  Based on the description of the suspect and the location of the offense, Mike directed units to a known offender’s residence.  The real-time intelligence he provided proved to be 100% correct and resulted in the offender being taken into custody.  The suspect confessed to the auto burglary and property was recovered from his residence from another auto burglary.

Mike has identified and created a linkage of over 300 people who were members or associates of the Drak gang, which operated in the Sulphur Springs area.  He also identified five problem houses in the area and worked with property owners, managers, Code Enforcement and the ROC squad to eradicate the problem.  All of the houses resulted in evictions of the tenants for felony drug arrest.

By utilizing SAFECOP, Mike was able to identify and locate multiple Big Four offenders, apprehending over 35 of the most wanted offenders in the city.  He has assisted DLIS, CIB, SIB, and the gang unit with identifications, resulting in numerous arrest and search warrants.  He created an offender picture book, which is readily available to assist CID and ROC units when trying to identify subjects by nicknames or descriptions in the district.

In recognition of his outstanding performance of duty, dedication to creating a better quality of life for the citizens of Tampa, Officer Michael McNamara has been selected as the Officer of the Month for March 2015.


Amy Metcalf was employed by the Tampa Police Department as a Crime Analyst on June 9, 2014.  She has quickly learned the duties of this position and seeks out multiple sources and contacts in order to develop new ideas and methods related to her job.  In addition to offering her analytical help to officers, detectives, and command staff, Amy developed relationships with multiple analysts from surrounding agencies.  These relationships have proven effective on many occasions when intelligence sharing between the agencies has assisted investigators working large crime patterns.

Amy has embraced the Tampa Police Department’s mission of fighting crime by focusing on known suspects and patterns.  Auto burglary has continually been a challenging offense to combat.  After being asked to conduct an analysis of recent offenses, Amy went above-and-beyond by analyzing multiple years and data.  She took the large amount of data and turned it into a report, which provided clear and attainable areas of improvement.

In June 2014, District One was experiencing a surge of auto burglaries where suspects were targeting purses and committing bank fraud.  A pattern developed and a possible lead was developed, consisting of a suspect description and phone number.  The detectives obtained a large amount of call records related to additional suspects.  Amy offered her assistance and, through self-initiated study, learned how to analyze the records and the use of cell phone terminology and mapping software.  By the end of the investigation, Amy compiled detailed biographical reports on all of the suspects and comprehensive mapping of their cell phone usage.  These reports proved to be a key factor in the suspects’ pending statewide prosecution.

In addition to using social media in criminal investigations to find suspects, fugitives, and photographic evidence, Amy shares her techniques with fellow analysts and investigators.  During a recent investigation, where an AR-15 rifle was stolen, Amy utilized social media to locate a suspect, which led to the recovery of the firearm.  Using social media in another case, where a suspect was habitually defacing multiple structures by spray painting them, Amy provided key pieces of information that assisted detectives in building a case against the suspect.

In recognition of her assistance and exceptional analytical and creative work, Amy Metcalf has been selected as the Employee of the Month for March 2015.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Tampa's not so smart criminals Part 3-

Imagine this….you’re sitting in your car in the darkness of the night….in front of your home.  Maybe you are talking on the phone, maybe playing candy crush or maybe just collecting your thoughts after a hard day at work.  Whatever the case, you see a suspicious man walking from car to car checking door handles.  Now, maybe on the first car you think, “This fella must have forgot his keys,” but after a few more vehicles you start to realize that something is just not right here.

Just when you are trying to figure out what exactly is going on, the man approaches your door and tries to open it with you inside! Secretly, you probably get a little scared, but as you realize your doors are locked and you have dark window tint, your inner Superman springs into action.  At least it does in your mind.  The man has no idea that you are sitting in your car.  So what to do……?  Call 911 of course.  As officers arrive on scene, you leap out in a single bound and point to the car burglar. I mean after all, he was only a few feet away from you. Police arrest Tampa's newest member of the “not so smart criminals” club and charge him with the seven counts of attempted auto burglary and attempted burglary of an occupied vehicle. Of course the suspect couldn't be a member of this elite club without his prior history. Yep, you guessed it! The suspect was on probation for vehicle burglary and burglary of a residence. MORAL of the story- ALWAYS LOCK YOUR DOORS even if you are just sitting inside playing candy crush!!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Employee of the Month February 2015

Police Data Terminal Operator Linda Shiflett has been employed by the Tampa Police Department, Records Section, for 24 years.  During her tenure, Linda’s supervisors and co-workers have looked upon her as a lead worker with a vast knowledge of records procedures and operations.  She is always seeking to learn new procedures and the uses of the Versadex Records Management System.

Because of her trustworthiness and attention to detail, Linda’s supervisor asked her to help in the Criminal Investigations Division, Strategic Investigations Bureau.  She accepted the challenge with enthusiasm and took on a project that others would avoid.

Linda was assigned the task of digitizing over 3,000 informant records that had been kept in an antiquated system for many years.  The new procedure will make the information more secure, yet easier for the users to retrieve.  Because of the sensitivity of the information, it was important to limit the number of people to have access.  Therefore, Linda was expected to perform the data entry on her own.  She had to learn a new module in Versadex to accomplish the transition and picked up the new procedure with ease.

Linda continues to come in to the Records Bureau to work her regular duties the first two hours of the day to help her co-workers stay up to date.  She then moves to another area of the building and works the rest of the day doing the complicated and labor-intensive data entry.  She has worked her dual duties for over a month and has made great strides in getting all of the data caught up.

In recognition of her outstanding work and dedication to duty, which will have a positive impact on the department for many years to come, Linda Shiflett has been selected as the Employee of the Month for February 2015.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Citizen Appreciation Award

On 7/6/2014 at 4:28pm, the Tampa Police Department received a 911 call involving a subject who had just pulled a gun and threatened the female caller.

Officers were immediately dispatched to the scene and arrived on scene a few minutes later. Prior to the officers arrival, Security Officer Antonis “Anthony” Zaloumis of Critical Response Security, LLC was alerted of the incident.  Security Officer Zaloumis immediately sprung into action and made contact with the armed subject. Security Officer Zaloumis observed a firearm in the suspect's left front pant's pocket and ordered the suspect to put his hands up.

The suspect failed to listen to the commands and began to flee. Security Officer Zaloumis initiated a foot pursuit of the armed suspect while in the performance of his security duties while patrolling this apartment complex that is frequently plagued by violence and armed subjects. Security Officer Zaloumis quickly chased down the armed suspect and prevented him from fleeing the area. The suspect violently began to fight and resist the actions of Security Officer Zaloumis who was trying to handcuff the armed suspect. During the violent resist Security Officer Zaloumis was forced to use pepper spray to gain compliance of the suspect and during the fight become contaminated himself.

Upon the officers arrival, they observed Security Officer Zaloumis was holding onto the suspect's left hand ensuring that he was not able to get to his firearm. That firearm was determined to be fully loaded and functional, although the serial number had been scratched off.

A review of the defendant’s criminal history revealed he had been arrested for thirty-two (32) felony charges and an additional twenty-one (21) misdemeanor charges. The defendant had also failed to appear in court on ten (10)  prior incidents.

Defendant Wanser case was properly documented and left him with no defense as a result he pled open on all cases/charges and was sentenced to 5.5 years as a Prison Release Re-Offender and Habitual Felony Offender and upon his release will be on 3 years of felony probation.

Based on Security Officer Zaloumis heroic actions and the courage he took to engage a known armed suspect while placing his own safety at risk and preventing the escape of the suspect he is hereby awarded the Tampa Police Department's Citizen Appreciation Award.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Tampa Police Officer Serves as Inspiration behind Award-Winning Performance

Officer Michael Gambrell joined Dominque Ernewein, her father and school principal Shannon Butler at a school board meeting that recognized all of this year's award winners. 

The Hillsborough County School Board honored Dominque Ernewein, an 8th grade student at Orange Grove Middle Magnet School and Tampa Police Officer Michael Gambrell during an award presentation for this year’s LEAD (Lead Empower Advocate and Dream) contest.  The county-wide contest encourages students to use creativity to express how a local African-American leader inspired them. 

Dominique was one of nine LEAD contest winners who created an artistic interpretation of how he or she was inspired by a local African-American leader.  She submitted a video of a dance number she choreographed as a tribute to Officer Gambrell, her mentor and former school resource officer at Orange Grove.  While assigned to the school, Officer Gambrell worked to ensure Dominique and her schoolmates excelled inside and outside the classroom.  He encouraged the students to use their artistic abilities as a healthy way to cope with transitioning from elementary school to middle school and adolescence. 

Officer Gambrell mentored Dominque for three years.  After the presentation ceremony he shared, “it feels great to know that young students recognize police officers as positive role models and influential people in the community.”

Officer Gambrell was recently assigned to the department’s Police Athletic League.  In this new role, he continues to serve as a role model helping young kids and teenagers to excel in academics and sports, while teaching them how to make good decisions that will keep them out of trouble.

In celebration of Black History Month, nearly 1,000 Hillsborough County students in grades 3-12 entered this year’s LEAD contest.  The students had the option to submit entries into three categories: Literature, Performance, and Visual Arts.  

By--Janelle McGregor, TPD PIO

Monday, February 9, 2015

Top-Ranking Crime Fighter Retires After 30 Years of Service

Tampa Police officers and community members came together to bid Assistant Chief John Bennett farewell from the department at one of his most cherished places, the Robles Park RICH House.  Known as the “Hammer and the Feather,” our Assistant Chief Bennett ruled with an iron fist to ward off criminals, while showing compassion towards the underprivileged and those in need of a helping hand.  Keeping the city safe was always on this behind the scenes leader’s mind.  He singlehandedly developed the security plan for the 2009 Super Bowl and worked around the clock to ensure officers and demonstrators were safe during the 2012 Republican National Convention.  His security plan for Gasparilla is used every year when pirates invade our city. Citizens can take comfort in knowing that many of his public safety plans and strategies will still be protecting our city long after he retires.

Assistant Chief Bennett balanced his passion for deconstructing crime with building positive relationships between the department and the community it serves.  A true believer in giving back, he co-founded the annual Badge Bowl challenge—a rivalry football game between police officers and firefighters which raises funds for families with children battling cancer.  He also rallied a group of business professionals through Leadership Tampa to volunteer their time and resources into transforming an abandoned recreation center into a state-of-the-art learning environment for at-risk youth.  Now, the Robles Park Resources in Community Hope (RICH) house provides tutoring and life skills to help keep over two dozen children out of trouble. 

Without a doubt this fearless, yet philanthropic leader will be missed at the Tampa Police Department and in the neighborhoods it protects.

Janelle McGregor

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