MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Miami-Dade County officially welcomed a new police director to lead the Miami-Dade Police Department Tuesday morning.

J.D. Patterson was sworn into the position during a ceremony Tuesday. The 52-year-old Patterson has been the department’s acting director since November and will be taking over for James Loftus, who retired in September.

Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez announced the hiring of Patterson last Friday. Patterson is only the second African-American director of the department in 56 years, but the second in the last nine years.

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.

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.