MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The City of Miami’s new top cop officially takes the helm of the police department.
Former Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo was sworn in Monday morning at the Chief Clarence Dickson Police College. Due to the pandemic, the ceremony was closed to the public and streamed on the Miami police department’s Facebook and Instagram pages.READ MORE: Shooting Investigation at Miami Gardens Gas Station
Acevedo is the city’s fifth police chief in the last decade.
Born in Cuba, Acevedo first came to Miami and grew up in California. He was the first Hispanic to lead the Houston Police Department. The new job is a homecoming for Acevedo who served as police chief in Austin, Texas as well.
“I really want to recognize my family, my childhood friends, Tony, Fernando, I want all my family to stand up,” he said to applause during his address.
Last summer he gained national attention when he joined marches and protests over George Floyd’s death.READ MORE: Passing Asteroid Lights Up South Florida Sky
Acevedo, who is a Republican, spoke out against former President Donald Trump at the Democratic convention. Miami officials said it’s his personal relationships that made him stand out.
“A lot of people that I’ve interacted with have all been complimentary of him and have high praise for him,” said Miami City Manager Art Noriega.
“I’m asking the Miami family to put their arms around Art, his son, and his wife who were tremendous members of the Houston community, the Austin community, and the California community,” said Miami Mayor Francis Suarez.
Acevedo called his new job a privilege promising to deal with bad policing head-on and focus on all sectors of the community.
“I’m not going to be the Cuban chief. I am not going to be the Latino chief. I’m not going to be the chief from California or Texas, I have to be the chief from Miami because we are going to represent and serve all people, from all nations, from all walks of life, regardless of their economic standing,” Acevedo said. ” am going to represent everyone and people will be hired not on who they know but on merit.MORE NEWS: Woman Fatally Shot By Police Serving Eviction At Brickell Building Identified As 40-Year-Old Stephanie Voikin
Acevedo is the first outsider to take the reins since John Timoney was hired in 2003 and led the department until 2010.