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Tampa Police Chief Brian Dugan Announces Retirement After 31 Years Of Service

A man in a black and gold police uniform and wearing glasses stands in front of wall art depicting the Tampa Police Department badge.
City of Tampa
After 31 years with the Tampa Police Department, Chief Brian Dugan has decided to retire.

Tampa's Chief of Police for the last four years, Brian Dugan, announced his retirement Monday after 31 years of service to the department.

After 31 years with the Tampa Police Department, including the last four as chief, Brian Dugan announced his retirement Monday afternoon.

His last day will be Sept. 10.

“During my time at Tampa Police Department, we've celebrated Super Bowls, Stanley Cups, implemented body worn cameras, cultivated community relationships, delivered effective communication,” Dugan said.

“We balanced free speech with public safety and relentlessly and successfully pursued a serial killer (Howell Donaldson III in fall 2017)," he continued. "And we have mourned officers who have given their lives to protect our communities.”

Dugan said there was no specific reason he was stepping down, saying that with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it was just time for him to step down.

“Have we done everything right? Of course not. No one ever does,” Dugan added. “What we have done with dedicate ourselves to doing things the right way, always improving and always protecting this wonderful community.”

Following the murder of George Floyd, Dugan said he advocated for better transparency at the department, and worked with Mayor Jane Castor's Task Force to hold discussions with community leaders about race relations and policing.

"It's been a rough 18 months, I'm really proud of the fact that we have improved our transparency. We have a very good relationship with the community, but like the mayor used to say when she was the chief, your relationship with the community is an ongoing thing," said Dugan.

He also created his own advisory team to address issues throughout the community and he requested the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to investigate officer involved shootings.

"Chief Dugan has had a remarkable career as an innovative leader, with a passionate focus on community engagement and interaction. Our community l owes him a debt of gratitude, as his steady guidance and leadership of America's finest police department has been nothing short of outstanding. I am grateful for his service and friendship through the years,” said Mayor Jane Castor.

Dugan, hired in 1990, spent several years in the North Tampa District, which encompasses Sulphur Springs, Seminole Heights and New Tampa. He has also worked in the Criminal Intelligence Bureau, Street Anti -Crime Unit, Quick Uniform Attack on Drugs Squad (QUAD), Internal Affairs Bureau, Mayor's Security Detail, and as a Field Training Officer.

Dugan earned a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from West Liberty University and a Master of Public Administration degree from Troy State University. He is a graduate of the Southern Police Institute's Command Officers' Development Course and also attended the Senior Management Institute for Police.

Dugan is married with two children.

A man in a black and gold police uniform stands by an unfurled, hanging American flag.
City of Tampa
Interim Chief Ruben "Butch" Delgado has had a 23-year career with the Tampa Police Department. He was designated Interim Chief at Monday's press briefing.

Interim Chief Ruben "Butch" Delgado has had a 23-year career with the Tampa Police Department. In his current role, Delgado oversees investigations and support.

He also served as the Captain in charge of the Criminal Investigations Division, and as the lead role for the Public Safety planning efforts of Super Bowl LV in 2021.

A Tampa native, Delgado graduated from Jefferson High School and holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Florida.

Castor said with Delgado in place as the interim chief, the city will do a nationwide search for the next leader of the police department.

"I believe we owe it to our community to look around the nation to ensure that we have the next best leader for the best police department in the United States," said Castor.