After Controversy, Tampa Police ‘Reboot’ the DUI Squad


The Tampa police department is changing the way drunk driving cases are handled after a review sparked by the arrest last year of a prominent attorney who prosecutors said was “set up” by a DUI squad sergeant, reports the Tampa Tribune. The review began after the firing of Sgt. Ray Fernandez, a DUI squad supervisor, in September. “We have rebooted our DUI unit,” Chief Jane Castor said. “We have started over, from the ground up.”

The six-member team, made up of a judge, a prosecutor, a state law enforcement official and three Tampa police officers, recommended nine changes to the existing policy, including more thorough reports, expansion of field sobriety tests and video cameras in patrol cars of DUI squad supervisors. The summary of the report makes no mention of cases specifically worked by Fernandez, and there were no “red flags” that arose in the examination of those cases or any of the other cases examined, Castor and members of the team said.

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