Tampa Police Chief apologizes for flashing license plate during golf cart stop
The Tampa, Florida, police chief has apologized and requested a disciplinary review after flashing her license plate to get out of a stop for riding in a golf cart without license plates, authorities said Thursday.
Body camera video from a Pinellas County sheriff’s deputy captured the Nov. 12 encounter in Oldsmar, northwest of Tampa. Tampa police released the video Thursday.
Chief Mary O’Connor, who was named in February, was a passenger in a golf cart driven by her husband, police said in a statement. statement.
The video shows O’Connor asking the officer if her body camera is on, and when he says yes, she says, “I’m the police chief in Tampa.” The officer asks how she is doing.
“I’m doing good. I hope you let us go tonight,” O’Connor says as she opens her badge case and hands it to her husband, video shows. The deputy lets them go.
The couple own property in a “golf cart-friendly community,” O’Connor said in the statement. But vehicles outside residential areas must have license plates.
She said in the statement that it was the first time the golf cart had been dropped off into the community and that it was “poor judgment” to drive it on a public road without proper tags.
O’Connor said he offered to pay any fine and apologized to the officer. “I know that no one is above the law, including me,” he said in a statement.
Mayor Jane Castor said O’Connor “voluntarily contacted the Tampa Police Office of Professional Standards requesting to receive the same discipline that any officer would receive for similar conduct” and that an internal review is underway.