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Police promoting, transferring dozens

Among the positions filled: assistant police chief, patrol supervisor and head of the vice and narcotics squad.

By MIKE BRASSFIELD

© St. Petersburg Times, published April 12, 2000


ST. PETERSBURG -- The St. Petersburg Police Department is promoting about a dozen employees and transferring another two dozen to different jobs.

Three high-level positions are being filled: assistant police chief, west-side patrol supervisor and head of the vice and narcotics squad.

Police Chief Goliath Davis III finished his restructuring of community policing in the city by assigning another two sergeants to supervise community officers.

The moves were announced Tuesday and take effect May 1.

Charles "Chuck" Harmon, a major, was named assistant police chief in charge of the patrol division. He'll take the place of Rick Stelljes, who retired and was rehired as the department's spokesman.

Harmon will oversee patrol and community officers as well as the traffic, marine, canine and field training squads. He said Tuesday that he was looking forward to it.

"I appreciate the opportunity to serve in this capacity," said Harmon, 40, who has been with the department since 1983.

Most recently, Harmon supervised patrol officers in the western third of the city. Taking his place in that job will be Dave DeKay, 47, who is being promoted to major. He had been promoted to lieutenant in October.

DeKay, a 17-year veteran, was the police department's special events coordinator during the Tampa Bay Devil Rays' opening season, and Davis has praised his ability to get along with people.

John Gardner, 46, will be promoted to major and will run the city's vice and narcotics squad -- a job that he's been doing as an acting major since October. The 22-year veteran has commanded the department's field training unit, SWAT team and traffic division.

"It's pretty exciting to be offered a promotion," Gardner said. "I view it as a challenge, and I'm looking forward to it."

Davis also is transferring two sergeants -- Joanne Lindsay and Greg Schwemley -- to supervise community officers in the city's south and west districts.

In 1998, Davis reduced the number of community officers by 10 to free up officers for 911 calls.

But he added three sergeants to supervise the 43 community officers, and assigned three more sergeants to supervise the entire community policing program.

Other promotions announced Tuesday include:

David Hawkins and J.R. Thompson to patrol lieutenant; Phillip Brewer to field training sergeant; Phillip Bean, Dennis Bolender, Phillip Quandt and Lisa and Matthew McKinney to patrol sergeant; and George Kajtsa to emergency communications supervisor.

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