By Peter D'Oench

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – In a move that caught Miami City Hall by surprise, Miami Police Chief Jorge Colina announced Wednesday that he will be retiring in January of next year.

He spoke to CBS4’s Peter D’Oench in an exclusive one-on-one interview at the Miami Police Department.

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“Peter, I feel like I was able to accomplish the things I wanted to achieve. Number one bringing the crime rate down to historic lows. That was quite satisfying.”

“I am going to leave because I have had a time line and now I can come to work every day with a sense of urgency, Now time is ticking.”

Colina waS one of the first South Florida police chiefs to speak out against police brutality after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

“There are still incidents happening and it was important for me to speak up and do it quickly and be sincere,” he said. “We have to turn things around.”

He was one of the first city officials to announce he had tested positive for the coronavirus in April. This past year has been like a blur and I have received a lot of support from people in Miami.”

Colina also was responsible for promoting a record number of black women in management positions.

“One thing I wanted to do was make sure that they have the legitimacy that they deserve. That’s something a lot of women in this profession have not seen,” he said.

He is not sure what his future will bring after he retires on January 31st.

“I am mulling over a few proposals,” he said. “We’ll see what the future brings.”

At a news conference he thanked his entire department.

“They have rolled up their sleeves and have done everything I have asked of them,” he said. “They have trusted me and I have trusted them. Together there have been some amazing results.”

In that news conference, Miami Mayor Francis Suarez said of Colina, “He has lead this department professionally and accomplished a low in crime and the lowest homicide rate in 55 years.”

Commissioner Ken Russell said he was “shining example to other Mayors of how there can be a respect for freedom and constitutional rights.”

Colina has received 100 commendations and awards in his 30 years with Miami Police.

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On Thursday morning, Chief Colina had this to say in a statement released on Instagram:

“Good afternoon City of Miami, I wanted to record this message to you, just to let you know how grateful I am for the level of support that I have received. And really the outpouring of appreciation and love for me as your police chief, it’s been quite remarkable.”

Colina went on to talk about his accomplishments with the department.

“You know, I had a set of goals that I wanted to achieve when I became your chief. And I verbalize those goals when I was sworn in about two and a half years ago.”
I gave myself a timeline. And it was important to me because I knew that it would keep me on track that it would give me a sense of urgency to make sure that we worked hard to achieve those goals.”

“I feel a great sense of satisfaction that we’ve been able to achieve the goals that we set. And it really satisfies me because those goals have been met by the hard work of the men and women of this police department.”


He also talked about his department’s response to the coronavirus and the Black Lives Matter protests.

“I’m grateful whether it was our response to COVID and how much you cared about the condition and the well being of our officers, the response to the protests that we’ve had the reduction in crime, we’ve had two of the lowest crime rates in the history of this police department.”

The chief explained why he made the announcement on Wednesday and why he was giving the city time to find his replacement.

“I wanted to give the manager and the mayor enough time to be able to find my replacement without being rushed and without it being chaotic. And so that’s why I thought it was important to make this announcement now. My last day will be January the 31st.”

“It’s important that we have a smooth transition here, that they don’t feel rushed and they can make the right choice, then we’re able to transition that chief here, and this department doesn’t feel a bump and neither do you.

Colina expresses his thanks to the city and gave credit to his officers for a job well done during this tenure in the department.

“Lastly, and I know that I’ve already mentioned it once, but I just want to reiterate how thankful I am too because it really has been amazing. I want you to know that it’s really been about the men and women of this department.

“You know, they’ve made my mission, their mission, and they’re the ones that have gone out and rolled up the sleeves and gotten the work done.”

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“I get to be the face of the department, but they’ve done the work. So the same support that you’ve shown me, you know, please continue to show that to them because they’ve, they’ve earned it and they’re deserving. And again, thank you so much. I appreciate it.”

Peter D'Oench