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MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Miami Police Major Delrish Moss is leaving the department and heading to Ferguson, Missouri after more than three decades in the city.

Moss has been named Police Chief for the City of Ferguson – a city thrust into the spotlight two years ago after the shooting death of Michael Brown.

Moss, who has been with the department for 32 years, said the civil disturbances in Ferguson bring back unpleasant memories of riots in Miami’s Liberty City and Overtown where Moss, a Miami High School graduate, grew up.

He became a police officer in 1984 quickly making a name for himself as a cop who cared about the community.

“The police department wants to see a better community,” said Moss.

Moss is a familiar face as the police department’s spokesman but his police roots go back to patrols in Miami’s African-American neighborhoods, and a stint as a homicide detective, sending countless criminals to prison.

But in 2001, his review of the case against convicted killer Jerry Townsend found a flawed confession taken by Miami detectives.

DNA evidence led to Townsend’s release after he served more than two decades for crimes he did not commit.

Moss says he applied for the Ferguson job after a visit to St. Louis to visit family. The despair reminded him of his hometown and convinced him that Ferguson can benefit from his experience in South Florida.

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