Within the next few months, the City of Miami Police Department will have a new police chief. The department has narrowed down the search to eight finalists, bringing them one step closer to finding a replacement for current chief Jorge Colina.
Colina announced his retirement in Sept. 2020, after leading the department for three years and replacing Chief Rodolfo “Rudy” Llanes. A 30-year veteran in the MPD, Colina attributed his sudden retirement to his belief that he achieved the goals he had originally set out to accomplish. At the start of his tenure as police chief, Colina set goals to cut down on gun violence and create better partnerships with different federal agencies. Under his leadership, Miami’s murder rate reached historic lows.
With the announcement of Colina’s retirement, the MPD received numerous applications from qualified police officers representing different police departments across the country. The department has recently reduced this list down to eight applicants.
Five of the finalists are currently members of the MPD. They include Deputy Chief Ron Papier, Assistant Chief Armando Aguilar, Assistant Chief Cherise Gause, Assistant Chief Manuel Morales and Major Francisco Fernandez.
The other three applicants include Chief Inspector DeShawn Beaufort from the Philadelphia Police Department, Deputy Chief Raul Pintos from the New York City Police Department and Commander Jason Lando from the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police.
Given by a panel of city-appointed volunteers, the interviews of each finalist aired on the City of Miami’s YouTube Channel. As the search for police chief comes at a time of increased scrutiny of police officers and police departments, finalists had to answer a variety of questions regarding how they would handle policing in the future and their qualifications for the position.
With over 1,800 sworn and civilian personnel, the Miami chief of police entails the responsibility to ensure that all police officers maintain the standards of professional ethics and integrity. The chief oversees the Offices of Field Operations, Criminal Investigations, Administration Divisions, Internal Affairs and Public Information. The chief also must work closely with the Mayor of Miami Francis Suarez, city commissioners, city managers and other city departments to ensure the safety and prosperity of the city.
The decision about who becomes Miami’s next police chief ultimately lies with Miami City Manager Art Noriega and should be announced in the coming weeks.