On Wednesday, Mayor Daniella Levine Cava announced the appointment of a new administrator to oversee public safety in Miami-Dade County. Interestingly, the former police director of the county has plans to return to a county position under her leadership.
After an encounter with law enforcement in Tampa that left him critically wounded, Freddy Ramirez, who shot himself with his police-issued handgun on July 23rd, is now looking to assume an advisory role at the Miami-Dade Police Department. He aims to help with the county’s transition in 2025 from an appointed police director to an elected sheriff. Ramirez was the favorite for the sheriff’s race before his suicide attempt, which forced him to withdraw his candidacy in September. As per the memo, he will be returning to work in late January.
During the night of the shooting, Ramirez was briefly handcuffed by Tampa police while he was attending a Florida sheriffs convention at a hotel in Tampa. The reason for this was a report that he had brandished his gun during an argument with his wife, Jody. However, the allegation was never substantiated, and Ramirez was not charged.
On Wednesday, Levine Cava announced the following staffing updates:
Miami-Dade Police Department (MDPD) has a new permanent director. Stephanie Daniels, who was serving as the interim police director since July 24, has been appointed as the permanent director by the Mayor Daniella Levine Cava. Daniels was appointed as the interim director after the previous director, Ramirez, went on medical leave after a shooting incident. With this appointment, Daniels becomes the first woman to hold the post of MDPD director. The department, which has a strength of 4,700 personnel, is currently preparing to be absorbed by a sheriff’s office, as mandated by the Florida Constitution.
During his tenure as MDPD director, Ramirez also held the position of chief of public safety under Levine Cava. In this role, he was responsible for overseeing the Police and Fire Rescue departments. Recently, Levine Cava appointed her Corrections director, James Reyes, to take over this position. Reyes, a Cuban-American Democrat with experience as a senior commander at the Broward County Sheriff’s Office, was hired just 11 months ago to run the Corrections department. The move comes as Levine Cava and her team search for a Democrat to replace Ramirez as a candidate for sheriff. When asked about the possibility of running, Reyes acknowledged that he has been approached and feels humbled by the consideration.
JD Patterson, the chief public safety officer appointed after Ramirez was wounded, will now take on a new role as the Chief of Preparedness and Forensics under Levine Cava. As a retired county police director, Patterson will be in charge of overseeing the Department of Emergency Management and the office of the Medical Examiner.
The Broward County jail system is set to see a change in leadership with the promotion of Anthony Reyes. As he moves into his new role, Sherea Green, who started her career as a typist in the jail system during the 1990s, will take over as deputy director of Corrections. The shift in leadership comes just days after Reyes was part of a presentation to a federal judge, highlighting the progress the county has made in complying with a 2013 court-ordered mandate. This mandate required the implementation of reforms resulting from a Justice Department lawsuit that began over a decade ago. Following the presentation, a court monitor confirmed that the county is now in compliance with the requirements for the first time since the litigation began.
Ramirez has been appointed as the senior advisor for policing and transition, according to the Levine Cava memo. In his new role, Ramirez will be reporting directly to the mayor while returning to the police department. However, the police department has launched an internal affairs investigation into Ramirez’s firing of his weapon, and the details of the probe have not yet been released. The investigation is still ongoing, as confirmed by a spokesperson on Wednesday.
Christopher Carothers, who is currently serving as the assistant director of MDPD over investigative services, has been promoted to the position of deputy director under Daniels. This news comes as a recognition of Carothers’ exceptional skills and experience in his field.
In a statement, Levine Cava emphasized the utmost significance of the safety of residents and visitors. She expressed her confidence in the new public safety leadership team, which will rely on the extensive expertise of the departments while also promoting proven leaders. Levine Cava takes pride in the fact that, for the first time in Miami-Dade’s history, Black women will be leading both the Miami-Dade Police Department and Corrections Department.
- Investigating Miami Gardens Triple Shooting Deaths
- A 60-year-old man passes away following a collision with a vehicle in Miami
- Miami Police officer charged with DUI after being found passed out in car with gun