GULFPORT (FOX 13) - Gulfport's city manager told FOX 13 News Thursday he still has full confidence in Gulfport Police Chief Robert Vincent, though he must be disciplined.
"Someone got in that car, took a police car, which raises a whole 'nother' level- not that we're above the law, but the idea that a police car is out in the public unauthorized so to speak..." City Manager Jim O'Reilly explained.
Chief Vincent's unmarked cruiser was stolen from his St. Petersburg residence the Sunday night-Monday morning before Thanksgiving. Two juveniles have been charged with getting into the unlocked car of the chief's wife and finding the cruiser's key fob.
"I think they probably knew the minute they looked inside the car that they had a police cruiser," St. Petersburg police spokesman Mike Puetz said. "But that didn't dissuade them."
The car was found was short distance away not very long after Vincent reported it stolen. It was not damaged and nothing was taken.
"I think I was the second phone call, after the city of St. Petersburg police department," O'Reilly recalled Thursday. "He accepts full responsibility. I mean there's not any like 'Oh this happened to me or that happened to me,' no, he's accepted full responsibility."
O'Reilly said disciplinary actions could include a letter of reprimand or a short suspension. Chief Vincent is out of town on department business and not available for comment. And yes, he is driving the cruiser in question.