Officer Libby Roeser was the second St Petersburg Police Department Officer assigned to case to find Amy’s killer. With 17 years experience, many of it as a detective, on paper she looked like the person to do the job. Amanda Westerman, the first officer, had only three years experience, I believe. When the case hit the media, my feeling is that the higher ups in the SPPD decided that a more experienced officer was required. However, even Officer Roeser admitted that someone like Officer Westerman would be out there full of beans and “pounding the pavement”.
Officer Roeser did follow up on the leads that I gave her from tips from the public, however, the quality of these is variable, but that is not my fault. One tip led us to a guy who actually got arrested for a series of bank robberies, though I don’t really think it was him. He had a rottweiler if I recall correctly but no dachshund. He may have been shorter than the described suspect. The witnesses weren’t able to pick him out from the Photo Pack.
She also spoke to a local kid who walked his friend’s dachshund but said he “denied all involvement” and didn’t match the description. A official description I have never seen because police reports are not available to the public.
She was surprised when I revealed to her that Pinellas County Animal Services had produced a list of all animals registered in our zip code at Officer Westerman’s request. “Westerman did that!?” she exclaimed. She was keen to see that list and gave me her private email to send it to her. St Petersburg Police better get their act together and allow officers to have email addresses. As well, maybe Officer Westerman should have documented her request to Animal Services. Or perhaps she did, and Officer Roeser didn’t see it.
And why do Police Officers refer to each other by last name like that? I think it is the military command structure thing.
I don’t think she acquired any leads of her own. When I called her later in 2008, about three months after last having contact with her, she didn’t return my calls. I finally contacted Jeff Danner, my local councillor, to complain. Officer Roeser called back that day. She obviously had given up on the case. I asked her about the list from Animal Services and she ridiculed the idea that she would have to go looking for every “domestic short hair” Well, DSHs are usually cats not dogs.
But, I think she did a fair job. The St Pete police department has its priorities and getting violent people off the streets doesn’t appear to be one of them. Hot Dog Vendors, yes, but killers, perhaps not. On paper, I could have lodged a complaint of “inefficiency” because she didn’t return my calls, but it is no big deal.
I sent her a Christmas card thanking her for her work and I will rate her 6.5 out of 10.