MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Surrounded by family and friends, Manuel Orosa was sworn in Tuesday as Miami’s new Chief of Police.
The affair was mostly ceremonial.
Miami City Manager Johnny Martinez made his pick to replace fired chief Miguel Exposito last Thursday, a day earlier than expected. Orosa, 54, was sworn in by City Clerk Priscilla Thompson in her office on the very same day.
“After all was said and I done, I felt Chief Manuel Orosa was the best choice for the job,” Martinez said.
The larger swearing in ceremony Tuesday took place in the auditorium of the Miami Police College, located at 350 NW 2nd Avenue. The oath of office was administered by Judge Andrea Wolfson.
Orosa, a 31-year veteran of the Miami Police Department, took the reins of the department temporarily upon Exposito’s departure, and was part of a nationwide search for Exposito’s permanent replacement.
Orosa made the list of ten candidates considered by Martinez and others on a selection board, and was in a list of 5 finalists presented to Martinez this week.
Under the Miami City Charter, the city manager has sole responsibility for naming the Chief of Police.
Despite the national search, started before Exposito’s firing because the former chief was set to retire in January, the in-house selection of Orosa was not a surprise to City Hall insiders.
Orosa has had a varied career with the Miami Police Department. As commander of Criminal Investigations Section, he played a significant role in major cases including, police shootings, serial rapist, serial robberies and in the successful resolution of the murder of a police officer. He worked on a program for Miami TV about homicide detectives, and played a role in major events such as the Free Trade Areas of the Americas Conference and the Hemisphere Police Chief’s Conference.
His caretaker role as acting chief has won him some praise for handling problems left by the disruption of Exposito’s firing, and budget cuts forced on the department by the city.
Orosa will now lead a divided force that as of last month is under federal investigation for a series of deadly police involved shootings but has been cooperating with federal authorities.
“I always like to look into the future, forget about the past, I don’t want to go there,” Orosa said.