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Miami Beach Welcomes A Familiar Face As New Police Chief

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Raymond Martinez (Source: Miami Beach Police)

Raymond Martinez (Source: Miami Beach Police)

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I-Team
South Florida Crime

MIAMI BEACH (CBSMiami) – The Miami Beach Police Department’s Chief of Police has been replaced by a familiar face.

Raymond Martinez, who has served as the interim police chief since November 2011, was picked as Miami Beach’s new police chief from nearly 80 applicants from across the country.

Hialeah Police Chief Mark Overton, who came in second, was selected as deputy chief.

City Manager Jorge Gonzalez notified commissioners of the decision Thursday confirming rumors that Martinez was to be picked as police chief.

Martinez will replace Carlos Noriega,  whose tenure as police chief was marred by several scandals. Last July, an on-duty city officer who had allegedly been drinking at the Clevelander hotel took a woman on a ride on a police ATV and ran over two people on the beach.

Police also took criticism for the high-profile police-involved shooting over the last Memorial Day weekend where officers fired more than 100 rounds at a man who was driving erratically. Several innocent bystanders were hit. The shooting is still under investigation by the state attorney’s office.

Since being tapped as the interim chief last November, Martinez said he’s started to bring about “changes in policing, accountability and ownership of our actions. Supervisors, including myself, have taken training in ethics and professionalism,” according to the paper.

The 32-year police veteran told CBS news partner The Miami Herald that he is excited about his new job, comparing it to being recruited by a major baseball team.

“The good thing is it’s like getting drafted by the Yankees. The bad thing is you have to hit a home run every time,” Martinez said.

Martinez is already off and running, having reassigned officers to new beats as part of a community policing initiative. He is considering installing cameras on police officers’ uniforms, GPS devices are being purchased for patrol cars and the department’s top commanders are walking the streets at least once a month, talking to citizens.

He said he is looking forward to working with Overton.

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