Officials express guarded optimism through COVID-19

As Florida slowly lifts stay-at-home orders — caused by concerns about potential spread of  coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19)  —  local leaders and officials are taking a positive, yet guarded, outlook. They are hopeful that the regional and state economy can rebound sooner than later. Many retailers and restaurants have announced plans to reopen to modified dine-in and foot traffic, … [Read more...]

East Pasco municipalities declare local states of emergency

Responding to concerns about coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) , the City of Zephyrhills passed a resolution declaring a local state of emergency — taking steps to implement protocols suggested by state and federal agencies. The measure allows Zephyrhills flexibility to act quickly, if needed. However, its primary purpose is to allow the city to seek future reimbursement for costs … [Read more...]

Zephyrhills presents draft budget, appropriations requests

The City of Zephyrhills has unveiled its proposed budget for fiscal year 2019-20 — totaling more than $67 million. The $67,043,615 draft budget is based on a tentative tax rate of 6.35 mills previously approved by the Zephyrhills City Council. The draft budget was shared during an Aug. 12 council meeting. Based on the 6.35 millage rate, the total budget for the new fiscal year will be … [Read more...]

Zephyrhills Police chief talks crime, initiatives and more

Arrests are up in Zephyrhills, but overall crime trends are down citywide. That’s according to Zephyrhills Police Department Chief Derek Brewer, who was the featured guest speaker at the Greater Zephyrhills Chamber of Commerce July breakfast meeting. Brewer said arrests in Zephyrhills have increased each of the last three years, topping out at 1,077 in 2018. That’s up from 1,047 … [Read more...]

Zephyrhills chamber presents awards, installs board

The Greater Zephyrhills Chamber of Commerce presented its 2018 Business and Community Awards last week at the annual Member Appreciation and Awards Banquet held at St. Joseph’s Parish Center, in Zephyrhills. The event, dubbed “ZEPHYROPOLY,” attracted more than 200 business and community leaders, according to a chamber news release. This year’s theme focused on what makes Zephyrhills … [Read more...]

Zephyrhills Police undergoes restructuring

The Zephyrhills Police Department is shaking up its command staff — a measure it hopes will improve efficiency and communications throughout the law enforcement agency. The department is adding an operations lieutenant and an administrative lieutenant, while eliminating a captain’s position and a detective sergeant’s position — roles that have been vacant for months. The lieutenants’ … [Read more...]

New Zephyrhills police chief has a familiar face

Derek Brewer’s official promotion to Zephyrhills Police Chief was just weeks ago — yet he’s no stranger to the uniform, or to the community he’s tasked to serve. The 45-year-old Brewer was appointed the city’s permanent, full-time police chief on Sept. 25. He was sworn-in two weeks later, on Oct. 9. Brewer, however, already had months of familiarity with the position. He served as interim … [Read more...]

Retirement ‘bittersweet’ for Zephyrhills police chief

After 25 years of service, former Zephyrhills Police Chief David Shears is settling into retirement life. Throughout a respected career, Shears at some point worked every hour of the day, every day of the week and every day of the year. Now, he gets to relax. His last day in uniform was May 31. To Shears, stepping away from law enforcement altogether is “bittersweet.” “You enjoy … [Read more...]

Zephyrhills Police to have a changing of the guard

Zephyrhills police chief David Shears is hanging up his uniform following 25 years of service. His retirement, effective May 31, was announced during the Zephyrhills City Council May 8 meeting. The council then unanimously approved City Manager Steve Spina’s appointment of Zephyrhills police Capt. Derek Brewer to interim chief, effective June 1. The city now will undergo a hiring … [Read more...]

Zephyrhills’ police unveil city’s crime statistics

A report generated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation finds overall crime and arrests decreased in Zephyrhills last year, but violent crime and domestic offenses went up. Zephyrhills police Capt. Derek Brewer presented the city’s 2016 uniform crime statistics, during a March 27 city council meeting. The figures were generated through the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting Program (UCR), which … [Read more...]