Art Acevedo, the new Miami police chief, will assume the leadership of the police force on Monday after being sworn in to his new position.
Acevedo has come from leading the Houston police since 2016, a department of 5,400 people, to now direct a workforce of 1,400 in Miami and would be the fifth police chief in just 10 years.
At the time of announcing it two weeks ago, Mayor Francis Suárez called him the “best police chief in the United States.”
“We had a chance to hire a superstar, that was the best selection for us is undoubted, we not only brought the best possible candidate, but the best boss in the United States,” said Suárez, when asked about the decision to search the candidate out of the Miami PD.
Acevedo was born in Cuba and is the son of a former Havana policeman. He emigrated at the age of four, and after college, he spent more than two decades with the California Highway Patrol before being appointed chief of police in Austin, Texas in 2007.
During the press conference for his presentation, Acevedo recalled his arrival in the US and a phrase his father told him: “The worst day in US freedom is better than the best day in communism.”
In a message in which he inserted some phrases in Spanish, Acevedo made mention of the “disproportionate” suffering of communities of color in “a country that is suffering a lot” and urged to do something to “feel and serve”, and declared that ” he loves “good cops who” do things right “and does not tolerate” mediocrity “which, if allowed,” spreads like cancer. “
On the demonstrations that have occurred after George Floyd’s death and the division that arose in part of the South Florida community between those who supported the police and those who demonstrated against police abuse, Acevedo was emphatic in pointing out that in his opinion that division does not exist.
He said that politics is not “in his heart”, but “to serve and make a difference” in the community. He said that the people who protest are not against the police but against the “bad police”, since they are generally the ones who suffer the most violence in their communities and most need police action.
The new police chief will replace Jorge Colina, who has been in office for just over three years but announced in September that he would retire in early 2021.
After spending three decades working in the city’s police forces, Colina took over as chief in 2018 and led the city to the lowest homicide rate in 50 years during his first year on the job.