Saint Leo University President Jeffrey D. Senese received the key to the City of Tampa on Friday, May 13. Senese accepted the key on behalf of the university, which was a gift from Tampa Mayor Jane Castor. Presenting the key were John Bennett, chief of staff for the city and mayor, and Tampa Police Department Assistant Chief of Operations Lee Bercaw.

Bennett and Bercaw presented the key to Senese following a doctoral hooding ceremony in which both men received their Doctor of Criminal Justice hoods in advance of graduating from Saint Leo University on Saturday, May 14, with doctoral degrees.

Bennett’s dissertation is Mission Impossible: Do Local Law Enforcement Agency Mission Statements Citing “Crime Reduction” Result in Lower Crime Rates? His dissertation chair was Dr. Jorey Krawczyn.

Dr. John Bennett, Dr. Jeffrey Senese, and Dr. Lee Bercaw

A former assistant chief of the Tampa Police Department, Bennett as chief of staff for the city is responsible for coordinating and integrating the efforts of all departments and agencies to implement the programs directed by the mayor and the policies developed by the City Council. He earned his associate degree in 1995 from the then-Saint Leo College, and his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice in 2000 from Saint Leo University.

Bercaw’s dissertation is The Phenomenon of Sex Trafficking at the Super Bowl and his dissertation chair was Dr. Daniel Negersmith. Bercaw joined the Tampa Police Department in 1997 and has become known for his proactive crime reduction initiatives and his management of large scale events in security and transportation for the Super Bowl, Republican National Convention, IIFA (International Indian Film Academy aka Bollywood), Gasparilla, and the College Football National Championship.