Chief of Police, Tampa Police Department
A 28-year veteran on the Tampa Police Department, Chief Jane Castor was the first woman to ever lead the city’s police department when former Mayor Pam Iorio appointed her in 2009. Chief Castor is a University of Tampa and Chamberlain High School graduate who rose through the ranks at TPD, serving in nearly every department she could. Since taking over the department, Chief Castor has helped decrease Tampa’s crime rate by more than 64-percent. When she’s not in uniform, Chief Castor enjoys spending time with her partner and two children.
What is Hillsborough House of Hope?
It’s a transitional housing system for women, often with addiction issues, leaving jail. The women live in one of two homes we have purchased. They attend addiction therapy programs, job training, life skills and spiritual classes. The aim is to prepare them to be functioning, independent citizens. They progress from being released from jail to gainful employment, paying rent and reunification with family. What draws me to this charity is the fact that, by assisting these women to get back on their feet, we are helping put their family back together, thereby giving a mom back to her kids. members of society.
As a leading lady, what is one of your proudest accomplishments?
My proudest accomplishment professionally is making our city so much safer. Of course, this accomplishment is shared with the 1,300 men and women of the Tampa Police Department. We have successfully reduced crime in Tampa over 64-percent in the last nine years. To be able to lead this fine organization is a great honor.
Personally, being a good Mom would be my proudest accomplishment, but I suppose I have to travel further on this wonderful journey before it can be deemed a success. Since my boys are entering the teenage years, maybe their opinions should not be considered for a while.
How do you like to unwind?
This may be a little unusual, but my No. 1 way to relax and unwind is to hit the gym. Working out is my stress reliever. Although I don’t have much free time anymore, I enjoy landscaping and cooking.
Who do you most admire in Tampa Bay?
People like Dottie Berger, John Sykes and Richard Gonzmart who give their heart and soul to our community, and who have a soft spot for kids in need. I also admire my parents and brothers and sisters. Each has strong values, resilient character and a great sense of humor. All I have achieved is, in part, due to their influence. I can always count on my family.
Finish this sentence: The best meal in town is: usually in my kitchen. My partner is the best chef I have ever encountered.
Name one thing most people wouldn’t know about you.
My hobby for many years was remodeling old houses. My family has a custom cabinet shop and I worked there during college. I have remolded three old homes in Seminole Heights.
Favorite album of all time:
Fleetwood Mac’s “Rumours.” It came out my senior year in high school and I probably listened to it somewhere in the neighborhood of a million times.
Do you have a motto or words of wisdom that you live by?
“I simplify live my life by doing the right thing for the right reason.”
Chicken & Vegetable Soup
Cut the carrots, green beans, onions and celery and put them in chicken stock with some garlic. Once those are almost cooked, cut up the roasted chicken. Add chicken, frozen peas and corn. Cut up parsley and add to soup along with adobo (seasoning) and pepper to taste. It takes less than an hour to cook. Make a large batch and freeze for four meals.