TAMPA, Fla. - A Tampa police officer currently on deployment with the U.S. Army in Iraq received an honor back at home Monday: A big promotion.
Travis Maus was officially promoted to lieutenant during a ceremony that honored him and 42 other officers.
"These officers give so much of themselves personally. And then to have someone who's overseas doing it there, it's amazing," said Chief Brian Dugan. "I think it sends a message to our other officers who also serve that we're going to acknowledge their hard work -- whether here or over there -- helping us."
Dugan surprised Maus with news of his promotion last month during a phone call that was recorded and posted to the department's Facebook page.
Maus' department called again Monday, but this time it was over Skype so he could watch his wife, Jessica Maus, and children accept his new lieutenant badge.
"I think it speaks to his character and his work ethic, actually," Jessica Maus said. "He just loves the city of Tampa and he loves TPD. It was a lot for him to let go for a year."
"He's over in Iraq, serving our country. He was eligible for promotion. If he were here, he would have been promoted, so it was the right thing to do," added Dugan, who said this was a first for TPD.
Maus is currently in the seventh month of a one-year deployment during which he's training Iraqis to pilot Blackhawk helicopters. He'll return to the U.S. in early 2020.
"He loves coming to work. So I think he'll be excited to be back," his wife added.