Tampa police chief stresses calm in wake of deadly attack against Dallas officers

Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn and Tampa Police Department Chief Eric Ward condemned Thursday's attack on Dallas police officers.

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — At the shift change, Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn was out early Friday morning visiting two districts of his police department to reassure officers that he supports what they do and wants them to go home safely each and every night.

Friday afternoon, Buckhorn stood with Police Chief Eric Ward to condemn Thursday’s attack on Dallas police officers.

“This is obviously a sad day. Sad for America, sad for the city of Dallas, particularly tragic for the families of those officers who lost their lives,” said Buckhorn.

Buckhorn says he recently saw the mayor of Dallas at a national event.

“I was with Mayor Rawlings a week ago in Indianapolis at the U.S. conference of mayors and like what Buddy Dyer in Orlando just went through, there but for the grace of God, it could have been in any city in America,” said Buckhorn.

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Buckhorn says he has seen Tampa erupt in anger. He recalled civil unrest when he was an aide for Tampa Mayor Sandy Freedman and says the city has been working ever since then to improve its relationship with the community, but he condemned the attack in Dallas as a new level of violence.

“This was done by design. This was done with malice. This was done with hatred. This was done with intent and there will be a price to pay,” said Buckhorn.

Tampa Police Chief Eric Ward stressed the need for calm and communication to prevent violence from happening here.

“We have a great relationship with our community. We can’t do it without our community. We’ve put measures in place over the last year that have strengthened that bond with our community. The relationship with our community can’t be any better,” said Ward.

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