Mayor wants Police chief back for another year

Tampa, Florida -- Tampa Police Chief Jane Castor is retiring in May, but the mayor wants her to stay another year.

The announcement came Tuesday morning during Mayor Bob Buckhorn's annual State of the City address.

Buckhorn had been quiet about the police chief's fate. Chief Castor is facing mandatory retirement in a few months. But during his speech Tuesday, the mayor said he'd like Castor to stay on for another year as a contract employee.

The 1-year contract will need city council approval.

"I think she's one of the best chiefs in America. I think if we were to lose her that would be a sad day for Tampa," Buckhorn later told 10 News.

Castor said there is still some "fine tuning" she wants to do before she leaves, and that she'll feel more confident after the end of the year.

"We had discussed this some time back about me staying on through his first term as mayor, so that there wouldn't be any disruption or distraction to all that's being accomplished here in this city," Castor said Tuesday. "We have a lot of talent within the police department, a lot of young and upcoming individuals that have the ability to do the job to take this organization in the future... they just need a little bit more seasoning."

But could Castor stay beyond 2015?

"Nothing is out of the realm of possibilities but one year and they'll be plenty of individuals that the mayor can choose from for the next chief," she said.

Castor entered the Deferred Retirement Options Plan (DROP) in 2009, which mandates she must retire in May. She'll receive a 6-figure retirement check, and have a pension of at least $113,000 a year afterwards.

10 Investigates' Mike Deeson reports Castor cannot withdraw from DROP, which means that in order to stay on the extra year, she must be re-hired as a civilian. She will still receive her retirement and pension, despite keeping her job.


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