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3 Tampa officers terminated for policy violations, 7 others disciplined

Hillsborough County

Three Tampa police officers are off the job following a months-long internal investigation.

Officers Mark Landry, John Laratta and Algenis Maceo were terminated Thursday morning, Chief Brian Dugan announced during a news conference. 

The investigation into policy violation involved 11 officers, Dugan says. Some of the other officers involved received oral admonishments. One received a letter of counseling.

“To have to stand here before you and explain this is just an embarrassment for me,” Chief Dugan said. “They have embarrassed our police department. They have placed the community’s trust they have in us in jeopardy. They have tarnished our brand. And they betrayed the oath they swore to uphold.”

Dugan says one officer was completely cleared in the investigation. 

READ THE FULL INTERNAL INVESTIGATION REPORT

The investigation began last September after a citizen launched a complaint about Officer Landry and his partner, Officer Laratta. The complainant wrote that the officers threatened physical violence during a call. 

When investigators looked into the claim, they discovered Officer Laratta did not properly record the incident on his body camera. That led to an expanded review of his use of his body camera.

The investigation eventually expanded to involve a total of 11 officers. Dugan says the investigation found Landry, Laratta and Maceo violated numerous department policies and regulations. Seven other officers had at least one policy violation.

According to Dugan, none of the violations rose to the level of criminal acts.

“Investigators found no evidence that officers improperly arrested or detained suspects, nor that they planted evidence, or violated the rights of suspects,” a department spokesman said in a statement. “Generally, it was what the officers failed to do that resulted in their policy violations.”

Authorities say the policy violations included not properly recording via body worn camera, improperly disposing of evidence, failing to submit required reports, use of tobacco while on duty and being discourteous to the public. 

Earlier this year, Chief Dugan says he notified the State Attorney’s Office that two of the officers involved in the investigation could have credibility issues that could compromise court cases. Charges were dropped against four defendants and other cases are still under review.

Dugan says he is now reviewing the department’s policies and making changes where they are necessary.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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