Photo of John A. Bennett Jr. Chief of Staff, City of Tampa

John A. Bennett Jr. Chief of Staff, City of Tampa

September 28, 2020

John began his public service career in the summer of 1981 working for Pinellas County Parks after
graduating high school as a full-time, seasonal employee before entering his first year of college on a
baseball scholarship. By the summer of 1982, John had to leave the athletic scholarship behind and
accept a fulltime job with the County and become a non-traditional, evening student at the University of
South Florida.
At the University’s job fair in 1984, John was grateful to be selected by the Tampa Police Department
as an academy recruit, where his increased responsibilities allowed him to retire in 2015 as the
department’s Assistant Chief of Police. He was honored to serve as a trainer, a homicide detective,
special operations and SWAT commander, and most importantly help lead a crime reduction strategy
that has now delivered and sustained an 80 percent equitable decrease, while dramatically lowering
arrests and raising case clearance rates. As an incident commander for major events and incidents such
as the 2004 Hurricane Season, multiple Gasparilla Parades and Festivals, the 2009 Super Bowl 43, and
the 2012 Republican National Convention; John looks to pay forward his experience with new leadership
Post retiring after 30 years at the Tampa Police Department, John spent several years as the Assistant
County Administrator over the portfolio of public health, safety, and welfare managing a vast portion
of the County’s 2-billion-dollar budget overseeing and partnering with 24 municipalities and multiple
contractors. This then led him to the private sector to work with nation-wide local law enforcement
agencies to share Tampa’s crime reduction strategies and supporting technological processes for
improving 21st Century Policing.
In August 2019, John returned to the citizens of Tampa under the newly elected Mayor Jane Castor as
her Chief of Staff - in support of the city’s nearly 400,000 community population and over 4000
employees executing a 1-billion-dollar budget.
John has Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from Saint Leo University, a Master’s in Homeland
Defense and Security from the United States Naval Postgraduate School, and is currently working on his
Doctorate in Criminal Justice, focusing on an education dissertation in knowledge management and
sense-making to support future government efficiencies, effectiveness, and equity. He attended the
215th Session of the FBI’s National Academy and has dual graduate certificates from Notre Dame’s
Mendoza College of Business.
John is married with three daughters and one son and has been a boy and girls’ youth athletic coach
most of his adult life in the sports of baseball, softball, tackle, and flag football