Tampa officer returns from Middle East deployment, receives promotion to lieutenant

He’s the first Tampa police officer in department history to be promoted while deployed with the military.

After spending nearly a year serving in the Middle East, Lieutenant Travis Maus was welcomed home by family, friends, and the chief of police at Tampa International Airport Friday evening.

Jessica Maus only found out two days ago her husband was coming home.

“I am very excited,” she said. “But this is all very overwhelming. We’re so grateful for the support of the community and how many people are coming out to see him.”

She’s been home raising their three young daughters while Travis was in the Middle East with the U.S. Amy Reserves flying black hawk helicopter missions.

“He left the first week of February last year, so we’re almost at the one year mark, we’re a couple weeks short of it,” said Jessica.

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The long wait ended Friday. Jessica and a group of co-workers, friends, and community members all gathered at Tampa International Airport to welcome Travis home.

Not only does Travis risk his life for his country, he also puts it on the line for this community. Travis has worked for the Tampa Police Department for nearly 20 years.

While he was overseas, he was promoted from sergeant to lieutenant. It's a huge honor Travis says he never expected to happen.

“I took the test before I left, and because I know that they’ve never promoted anybody while they’re deployed I really didn’t think it was gonna happen,” he explained.

Travis received the news from the chief during a surprise video call over the summer.

Friday, Chief Brian Dugan presented Maus with his badge, in person.

“You have earned this promotion, and Jessica you have earned it just as well,” said Chief Dugan. “Here is your lieutenant badge.”

“It’s very humbling, I feel very honored by this,” said Travis.“It feels great to be home, it really does.”

Travis and Jessica’s three daughters were not present for the homecoming. We’re told they will all get their own one-on-one time with dad this weekend.

Travis plans to take a few weeks of downtime before heading back to the TPD and his new rank.