CORAL GABLES (CBSMiami) – Eighty-nine year old local activist Roxcy Bolton made an unannounced visit to the Coral Gables City Manager’s office Tuesday morning, in an effort to get the city to name a new police chief.READ MORE: COVID-19 Testing Sites In South Florida
Bolton, an iconic activist, and two others descended on City Manager Cathy Swanson-Rivenbark’s office demanding stability for the city’s police department. Ed Hudak has been Interim Police Chief for nearly a year.
“I want a stable police department too,” said Swanson-Rivenbark to Bolton. Bolton countered emphatically, “No you don’t, No you don’t.”
Bolton, recovering from a stroke, has difficulty speaking but she and the others have no problem making themselves clear.
“We would like Chief Hudak to be the permanent Police Chief with full powers not overseen or supervised by anyone,” said activist Maria Cruz.
Cruz is referring to Frank Fernandez, the former Chief of the Hollywood Police Department where Swanson-Rivenbark was City Manager. She brought Fernandez to the Gables and named him Assistant Manager and Director of Public Safety over the much admired Interim Chief Hudak, whose tenure has seen a significant drop in crime.READ MORE: COVID-19 Vaccination Sites In South Florida
“He knows the city. He knows what the residents expect,” said Cruz.
Among commissioners, Hudak appears to have broad support.
“I’m looking forward to him being named permanent chief,” said Commissioner Vince Lago of Coral Gables.
Bolton said Swanson-Rivenbark should step down citing a lack of leadership.
Swanson-Rivenbark insists she has a plan to restructure the police department that apparently includes Fernandez. The manager said she’s in the process of briefing commissioners.
“I’ve been sharing with them a recommended alignment and after I’m done meeting with the commissioners I’m going to meet with Chief Hudak and I’m going to meet with other members of the command staff,” said Swanson-Rivenbark.MORE NEWS: Miami Police Captain Javier Ortiz Relieved Of Duty
Meantime, as the police department drama plays out, the agency is down 18 positions and one veteran of the rank and file told CBS4’s Gary Nelson that morale has never been so low. Plus, there’s no indication yet from the City Manager on when she’ll announce her new plans for the police department.