2020 Officer of the Year
Detective Michael McNamara
Tampa Police Department
Detective McNamara has been a member of the Violent Crimes Bureau since 2016. One of his many duties includes monitoring the social media accounts of known violent offenders, especially those on the VIP list. On 10/25/18, Det. McNamara observed a “live story” video posted on the Instagram account of known offender, Rayshoun Harris at a gun range firing several different firearms. Harris had recently been released from prison and is a convicted felon. Det. McNamara was able to determine the gun range in the video was the Plant City Gun Range and coordinated with FDLE since it was outside Tampa’s jurisdiction.
Det. McNamara quickly responded to the gun range and learned Harris had left a short time earlier. The range was not cleaned and casings covered the ground. Through his investigation, he was able to determine that Harris’ brother Vayshoun Harris and Kevin Lowe were also shooting at the range. Both subjects have also recently been released from prison for firearm offenses and both were also convicted felons. Det. McNamara also learned that the group rented three firearms and brought two of their own handguns to the range, with one being described as an FN 9MM. FIU responded to collect numerous spent shell casings and other evidence. A latent print from a rented rifle was found to belong to Kevin Lowe and on a box of .556 ammunition a print for Rayshoun Harris was located.
The evidence was present to the SAO and arrest warrants were approved for Kevin Lowe and the Harris brothers for Felon in Possession of a Firearm. All three subjects were quickly arrested and Rayshoun Harris was found in possession of the FN 9MM. On 10/26/18, a day after the initial investigation, a 17 year old juvenile was riding his bicycle at N. 20th St. and E. Fairbanks Ave., when a vehicle drove by and fired three shots at the juvenile. The juvenile was struck and is now paralyzed. The shell casings recovered were entered into NIBIN and found to match the casings recovered from the Plant City Gun Range. Furthermore, these cases were found to match the FN 9MM recovered in Rayshoun Harris’ possession. Det. McNamara continued to investigate and authored multiple search warrants, which provided more evidence that linked them to the shooting. On 12/6/18, he was able to charge both Kevin Lowe and Rayshoun Harris with Attempted Murder for the shooting. Through NIBIN, the shell casings recovered from the Plant City Gun Range came back as a positive match to two other shootings as well.
Det. McNamara routinely attends court hearings for problem offenders to ensure proper prosecution, sentencing and when applicable, probation stipulations. He has successfully been able to get probation conditions in favor of law enforcement to include prohibiting the offender from associating with his/her known criminal counterparts, having in his/her possession anything that resembles a firearm and search by all law enforcement conditions. He also helped facilitate the lines of communication between the Tampa Police Department and prosecutors. Assistant State Attorney Marissa Rozas of the 13th Judicial Circuit recognized his efforts and nominated Det. McNamara for the Law Enforcement Officer Excellence in Performance Award for his part in ensuring the successful prosecution of multiple prolific offenders in the Tampa Bay area while utilizing social media.
Det. McNamara routinely goes above and beyond the call of duty. His efforts have led to the arrest and prosecution of multiple violent felons and he has taken numerous illegal crime guns off of the streets of Tampa. There is no doubt that the citizens of Tampa are safer as a result of Det. McNamara’s hard work and dedication. For his efforts, Det. McNamara is being recognized as the 2019 Tampa Police Department Officer of the Year.