Amanda Westerman was the first St Petersburg police officer assigned to the case once it had been established that Amy had been killed deliberately. Young, and with maybe three to four years experience on the street, she also appeared to be a cat lover. She told me how she had paid $600, I think, to buy a couple of cats at a cat show that she thought were being mistreated.
She did a lot of the preliminary and essential work, such as tracking down the witnesses (who had made the call to the St Petersburg Police Department that had been originally ignored), getting all the necropsy information from Noah’s Place, the veterinary hospital which Amy had been taken to, and she also contacted Animal Services and obtained a list of all registered animals in the zip code 33713, which covers the Historic Kenwood neighborhood, over the past three years.
However, when the case got some attention in the media, it was decided by the SPPD that Officer Westerman would no longer be the principle investigator on the case, and it was handed over to Officer Libby Roeser, who had more experience.
Based on the limited interaction that I had with Officer Westerman, I was impressed, especially with the data that she collected. In an ideal world and with hindsight, I would have preferred her to have remained the principle investigator, for the following reasons:
1. young and full of enthusiasm, maybe less jaded than a more experienced officer
2. well disposed towards felines
3. apparently well regarded in the department, she appears to have been off patrol since late 2008 (according to the St Petersburg Crimes web site, and being sent out only for computer crime cases, which leads me to believe that she may have a particularly analytical mind
This is certainly no way denigrates Officer Roeser’s ability.
St Pete Police, as with most agencies will pay overtime to officers for special events, like security and traffic for baseball games. If it was possible to hire an off duty officer for investigative work, then I’d probably choose Amanda Westerman to pursue the case against Amy’s killer.