St. Petersburg Police Chief calls it quits - WFLA News Channel 8

St. Petersburg Police Chief calls it quits

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Chief Harmon retires, but not before swearing in new officers Chief Harmon retires, but not before swearing in new officers
ST PETERSBURG, FL - After 30 years in law enforcement, St. Petersburg Police Chief Chuck Harmon has called it quits.  He officially retired from the department on Monday, but not before swearing in the department's three newest officers: Michael Hughbanks, Steven Costa and Ryan McDonald.

Chief Harmon says he remembers the day he was sworn in three decades ago, and says it was one of his best days in law enforcement. "You know, that was, that meant a lot to me." said Harmon. "I worked very hard to do that and I hope that the three that were here today understand the importance of what they're about to get into and do very well. "

When asked what his worst day on the job was?  He said he had two. "Both of them happened in 2011 when we lost officers, so I'm not going to pick one over the other on that particular day."

In January of 2011, Hydra Lacy shot and killed K-9 officer Jeffrey Yaslowitz and Sgt. Thomas Baitinger.  Lacy was also killed during the ordeal. A month later, a 16-year old shot and killed Officer David Crawford. A jury found Nicholas Lindsey guilty of murder and he is now serving life in prison.

At Harmon's retirement ceremony, dignitaries and law enforcement officers attended to wish him well.  Some presented him with plaques, others, gifts that will suit his retirement well.

Pinellas Park Police Chief Doreen Thomas presented Harmon with a card and a box of golf balls. "This is our answer to a plaque, for you."

Before he officially retired, he thanked his colleagues, the people of St. Petersburg and his family.

He says he believes overall, he's done a good job. "There's been a lot of good and a lot of things that were very difficult," said Harmon, "But as I stand here today I think the department is better than when I took over twelve years ago and I'm very proud of that. "

Now that he's officially retired, Harmon says he doesn't plan to be tied to his cell phone, and while he's not spending time with his family, you might spot him playing a round of golf or taking some time to fish.

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