The new chief is Mary O’Connor, who has 22 years of experience at the Tampa Police Department.By Casey Albritton

TAMPA, Fla. (CW44 News At 10) – On Tuesday, the Tampa Police Department announced it has a new police chief.

The new chief is Mary O’Connor, who has 22 years of experience at the Tampa Police Department.

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“Mary O’Connor as the next chief of police of the Tampa Police Department,” said Tampa Mayor, Jane Castor.

Tuesday was a historic day for the Tampa Police Department, as a new police chief was named.

“It is Mary O’Connor who stood out because she brings the best of both worlds. She brings the knowledge of the Tampa Police Department and our community and she also brings an outside viewpoint,” said Castor.

O’Connor not only spent 22 years with the Tampa Police Department, but she’s spent the last five years helping police departments across the country to improve community relations and implement evidence-based policing.

“Community awareness and expectations are evolving and law enforcement must evolve in unison,” said Castor.

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O’Connor says her goals include giving a voice to every citizen of Tampa and reducing crime in the area.

“We simply can’t arrest our way out of the problem. That doesn’t work. But you can also be rest-assured that we will be holding the most violent offenders accountable,” said O’Connor.

She also says the police department will be partnering with social services and expanding safety and wellness programs for officers.

“We need to make sure our officers that are out there, putting their lives on the line, for the safety of this community, feel supported,” said O’Connor.

One Tampa resident, Kevin Arias, says he wants to see a big difference in violent crime under O’Connor.

“There was a bunch of crime. I used to get text messages every day from the USF alerts system saying active shooter on 42nd Street,” said Arias.

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Castor says O’Connor could take on the position of police chief as early as next week.