Florida Cops Buy Alcohol, Lap Dances During ‘Undercover Operation’
Tampa Police Department officers are being investigated, with the subject of booze, exotic dancers, and lap dances being at the center of that investigation.
So far, a Tampa police sergeant has been disciplined after a review of a so-called investigation at a Ybor City strip club.
The review from internal affairs says a group of officers went to the strip club and all gave different answers as to what the investigation was about. The one thing agreed upon was that they "got to know the dancers," but didn't come up with any new leads.
After the 'undercover operation,' at Gold Club in Ybor City in 2020 was over, the department spent $421 of the investigatory fund.
Over three hours, an unspecified number of officers spent it on cover charges and drinks for themselves, the dancers, and the dancers' friends.
Each officer also had to go through their own lap dance, you know, for the investigation.
"There is always a plan on the books. I do not believe our officers are going to walk into any situation blind, or put themselves at risk, or risk the public," said board member Rasheed Aquil.
The supervisor of the operation, Sgt. Daniel Rhodes, said along with finding drug suspects, the operation was meant to gather intelligence on a shooting suspect who had ties to one of the dancers.
Internal investigators said the officers all gave conflicting stories of why they went there.
No new arrests were made, and the report says they didn't gather any new leads.
"There is a check and balance. The accountability was there and that was one of the things the community asked for, was accountability," board member Carolyn Collins said.
The report also stated Rhodes allowed officers to write operational plans without the proper oversight they're supposed to have. It says supervisors have to make sure all officers are on the same page about an operation, but obviously, nobody had the same explanation.
TPD released a statement saying, "discovering misconduct of any of our officers is always disheartening and unacceptable and the department will not tolerate this behavior."
"The penalty, or the violation of a one-day suspension and moving him around does not look like it is enough for what he did," Collins said.
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