Chief Dugan: "Today, I lost a friend and I will miss him greatly. He truly was one of a kind."

TAMPA, Fla. (CW44 News At 10) – A difficult day for law enforcement in the Bay Area, the Tampa Police Department are mourning the loss of their friend and long-time legal advisor.

TPD shared the sad news in a statement Thursday evening that reads:

‘It is with heavy hearts the Tampa Police Department family announces the passing of Kirby Rainsberger, our Legal Advisor and Chief Assistant City Attorney.’

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Chief Dugan mourned Kirby’s passing; “It is difficult to express, in words, the positive impact Kirby made inside the Tampa Police Department and for the entire City of Tampa. As Chief, I often relied on his wealth of knowledge and his analysis of the law to help me make better-informed decisions. His role as an executive member for six consecutive police chiefs clearly shows the level of trust and reliance each of us, justifiably, had in Kirby. For thirty years, Kirby was the host of institutional knowledge. Today, I lost a friend and I will miss him greatly. He truly was one of a kind.”

Credit: Tampa Police Department

Kirby was a police officer in Florida and Colorado prior to attending law school. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Criminology from Florida State University in 1975. He graduated from University of Florida Law School with High Honors in 1986. Kirby served the City of Tampa community, offering his legal guidance, since October 1991. During his tenure, Kirby provided interpretation and advice on established law to six police chiefs, beginning with Chief Eddie Gonzalez in 1992. His legal bulletins were renowned for their thoroughness and often shared with other law enforcement agencies.

“Kirby was a friend, a colleague, and most importantly a champion of justice”, said Mayor Jane Castor. “While his humble nature precluded him from ever standing in the spotlight, every resident in the City of Tampa should know of his commitment to ensuring that laws were understood, followed, and interpreted correctly. His guidance made the city a safer place. I am thankful for our friendship and I will miss him tremendously”.

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Kirby was surrounded by loved ones when he died of complications from cancer. He was 66 years old. We ask our community to please keep the Rainsberger family in your thoughts. Kirby will be missed by all and he will never be forgotten.


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