The Gulfport Police Department recently announced an “unprecedented” partnership with the St. Petersburg Police Department.
Gulfport Police Chief Rob Vincent announced at the Tuesday, April 5 city council meeting that a Gulfport detective will be joining the SPPD narcotics unit full time.
“For many years, we’ve had a full time detective doing narcotics work,” Vincent said. “Since [SPPD] Chief Holloway became chief, we’ve discussed ways to work together.”
Chiefs Vincent and Holloway decided that combining their efforts on drug prevention was the best use of their resources.
The GPD had previously worked with the Pinellas County Sheriff’s department in a similar manner, but Vincent states that “it’s always a better use of resources to work with SPPD.”
The Gulfport detective, who works undercover and cannot be identified, will have an office in the St. Petersburg Police headquarters and will be overseen by a narcotics sergeant. Vincent said it’s important for narcotics units to work as a team, as regular officers are not equipped for many of the tasks.
In exchange for a full time detective, Vincent said, the GPD will get access to the entire narcotics division of the SPPD.
Vincent also explained that this will help both the SPPD and GPD focus on crime on the two cities’ boarders.
“Much of the criminal activity along 49th Street is drug related,” Vincent said.
The detective has been working with the SPPD for two weeks.