Saint Leo University President Receives Key to City of Tampa

By Meaghan Goepferich Posted on May 21, 2022

Saint Leo University President Jeffrey D. Senese received the key to the City of
Tampa on Friday, May 13.

Saint Leo University President Receives Key to City of Tampa

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.
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.

About Saint Leo University
Saint Leo University is one of the largest Catholic universities in the nation, offering 62 degree
programs to more than 15,800 students each year. Founded in 1889 by Benedictine monks and
sisters, the private, nonprofit university is known for providing a values-based education to
learners of all backgrounds and ages in the liberal arts tradition. Saint Leo is regionally
accredited and offers a residential campus in the Tampa Bay region of Florida, 16 education
centers in five states, and an online program for students anywhere. The university is home to
more than 100,000 alumni. Learn more at



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