MIAMI BEACH (CBSMiami) – Miami Beach residents who attended the Tuesday Morning Breakfast Club gathering got a chance to meet the man who will most likely be their next police chief.
Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine was the guest speaker at the gathering held at Abuela’s Cuban Kitch on Meridian Avenue where he introduced Dan Oates. Levine said Oates has the experience, the vision and the proven track record to lead the city’s police department into a new era.
“I feel so humbled and honored to have this opportunity to work in this great city,” said Oates.
Levine said Oates, most recently Police Chief of Aurora, Colorado, did an outstanding job following the mass shooting inside a movie theater there in 2012.
“He demonstrated incredible leadership qualities. President Obama called him out saying what a leader, what a chief,” said Levine.
Oates has been in town the last couple of days meeting with city commissioners. As per the City Charter, Oates must still be confirmed by the Mayor and City Commission.
Levine told CBS4’s Natalia Zea that Oates has gone for a blood test and a background check. He also has meetings scheduled with Human Resources and several of the commissioners.
The commission is expected to vote on Oates filling the police chief position during their hearing on Wednesday, April 30th.
Oates also served with the New York Police Department for two decades. Levine believes Oates will overhaul the police department in the wake of everal controversies including the wild Memorial Day shootout in 2011 and the infamous drunken officer ATV accident on the beach.
“We want to make sure the residents are treated like customers, the tourists are treated like customers. No one’s above the law but we want to have that level of tremendous professionalism,” said Levine.
Oates would replace outgoing chief Ray Martinez, who recently announced he will be running security for Ultra Music Fest.
Some residents believe Oates will breathe new life into the department.
“I think it’s gonna be very valuable for our city, he has a lot of experience living in New York. New York is a very particular city just like Miami Beach, especially South Beach, is a very particular city,” said Valerie Navarrette. “It’s a plus, it’s a big plus for us.”
On Wednesday, the city commission is expected to approve Oates as the new police chief. Oates told Zea that he plans to talk to the press about his plans for the department after the vote.