TAMPA, Fla. - When Tampa Police Chief Eric Ward said he was stepping down, Mayor Bob Buckhorn said he planned on conducting a nationwide search.
Interim police chief Brian Dugan was disappointed by the news, but at the same time, he kept his head down and worked hard.
He said he was so entrenched in trying to solve a string of Seminole Heights murders that he wasn't thinking much about trying to land the job. He was just doing the job.
Still, he was surprised when Buckhorn announced Tuesday that he was naming Dugan to the top spot.
"I think this interim position gave me an opportunity to show the mayor my skill set and hopefully prove to him that I could do the job," Dugan said. "Apparently, I won him over."
He's already had an eventful first few weeks. Leading the department through Hurricane Irma was one thing. Now, he's faced with one of Tampa's worst murder sprees.
Three people were shot and killed in Seminole Heights over eleven days last month. Police still don't have a suspect, but they say the shootings are random but related.
"We're moving along," Dugan said of the investigation. "We get tips, we're busy, we're making progress. We're not making the progress at the speed we'd like. Things are going along (but) we also have a responsibility to defend the rest of the city."
Dugan has been with Tampa police for 27 years.