MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Former Miami Police Chief Jorge Colina is speaking out about the suspension of the man who succeeded him: Art Acevedo.
Colina, who retired after three years as police chief, spoke with CBS4’s Peter D’Oench by Zoom from Mexico, where Colina is on vacation.READ MORE: Congratulations To Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Recruit Class 147 Graduation
He said he was surprised that this would happen after Acevedo’s tenure of just 23 weeks.
Colina said, “This has been such a short period of time and I know early on everyone was optimistic that things would work out. I think everyone was rooting for the chief because when things are good for the chief that is good for the City.”
He said unfortunately the chief had not lived up to expectations.
“I think he was not fully involved with the culture here in South Florida. It is a little difficult to navigate when you are unfamiliar,” he said.
He said he hoped that the city would hire a new chief from within the Department.
He said, “My hope is that they will find an internal candidate. I had hoped they would do that from the get go when I announced my retirement. I thought an internal candidate would be able to advance the department and we have made many positive strides. We were the only department to have a triple accreditation. We had just come off the DOJ monitoring of compliance in our department. So an internal candidate would be able to pick up and advance the department. I think if they chose someone internally they are not going to have problems focusing the department.”READ MORE: Higher Pay Requested For Florida Highway Patrol Troopers
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D’Oench asked Colina how het got along with so many different people in the sometimes troubled political climate.
Colina said, “It took a lot of years, Peter. If you build relationships with people, they are more apt to cut you slack if you make a mistake. I certainly made mistakes. Everyone makes mistakes. But when you have the time to build relationships that pays dividends for your and they Weill give you more time and have more patience with you. I certainly took the time to have lines of communication with Commissioners. At the end of the day it is about building relationships in the community to give yourself the best opportunity to succeed.”
Since he retired, Colina has formed the Jorge Colina Group, which among other things, ironically, helps other cities and governments with executive searches in finding new police chiefs.
We reached out to Acevedo for comment, but he said he was told not to comment. Manny Morales is now the new interim chief.MORE NEWS: Expect Street Closures In Downtown Miami During Saturday's Susan G. Komen Race For The Cure
City Manager Art Noriega sent Acevedo a letter listing causes for his suspension in eight different areas, telling him he was not doing his job properly and was not obeying his orders.