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U.S. Attorney's Office hires spokesman for Tampa police

By Times staff writer

© St. Petersburg Times, published May 3, 2000

TAMPA -- After nearly 13 years as the public information officer for the Tampa Police Department, Steve Cole is moving on.

Starting May 15, Cole will take over as public information officer for the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Florida. Cole's job at police headquarters will be filled by Capt. Sam Jones until a permanent replacement is chosen.

Cole, a former television reporter, was paid about $69,000 last year and said he will make the same amount at his new job.

"It wasn't about more money," he said. "It was a chance to do something new and different."

Of course, it doesn't hurt that he's less likely to be called out to a murder scene in the middle of the night at his new job. After giving two weeks notice Friday, Cole said he began to wonder if he had made the right decision. A Sunday night emergency changed that.

"When I was standing at the intersection of 22nd and Annie at 2 a.m., I thought, "Maybe I did make the right choice here,' " Cole said.

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