MIAMI (CBS4) – CBS4 News has learned that J.D. Patterson Jr. has been selected to lead the Miami Dade Police Department. The formal announcement will be made Friday morning by Mayor Carlos Gimenez during a County Hall press conference.

The 52-year-old Patterson has been the department’s acting director since November and follows James Loftus who retired in September.

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Patterson, a licensed minister, has been with the department for nearly 30 years, rising through the ranks from patrolman to assistant director and now director. He has overseen a variety of units and commands including time working auto theft, sexual batteries, and internal affairs.

“It’s the culmination of a great career,” one official said.

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On the resume he submitted to Gimenez, Patterson wrote that his career objective was “to lead, manage and command the eighth largest Law Enforcement agency” in the country. (Under “interests” he included: “Reading, Fishing…and Jogging when time permits.)

Patterson takes over the department at a time when Miami Dade has been struggling with budget cuts and a loss of senior officers. Patterson is scheduled to retire in three years and will likely take steps to assure a smooth transition when he ultimately leaves.

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Patterson will be the department’s second African American director in its 56 year history. Nevertheless he is the second African American to hold the post in the last nine years. Robert Parker was director from 2004 to 2009.

Jim DeFede