Retired Miami Police Chief dies after battle with cancer

MIAMI (WSVN) - Retired Miami Police Chief John Timoney has been pronounced dead, police said, after a battle with cancer.

The 68-year-old police chief had his body escorted by officers from the University of Miami’s Hospital, late Tuesday night, after he lost his battle with lung cancer.

Timoney had a reputation among other officers as being a “cops’ cop.” “I’ve been here seven years and had a fantastic time and had fantastic results,” said Timoney in an interview with 7News shortly after his forced departure from Miami Police, in 2009.

Timoney led the Miami Police Department from 2003 to 2010. He was raised in New York, where he rose through the ranks of that city’s police department.

The former police chief landed positions in Philadelphia before he moved to Miami, when former mayor Manny Diaz hired Timoney in 2003. This was a time where protests were taking place during the Free Trade of the Americas summit.

“There have been lots of successes, significant success, in a whole variety of areas: crime, police shootings, race relations,” said Timoney, “but it is the failures or the mistakes you remember that hurt the most.”

Timoney went on to write a book, “Beat Cop to Top Cop: A Tale of Three Cities,” which told the story of his life and policing.

On the day he took over Miami PD, 11 Miami Police officers were on trial after being accused of corruption and excessive force. He later introduced Tasers for his officers in hopes of reducing the number of officer-involved shootings.

Timoney was known to hit the streets of Miami by bike. “This is my bike!” said Timoney.

The 68-year-old rode to help in the search for a rapist linked to seven assaults.

Despite growing up in New York and rising through the ranks in Philadelphia, Timoney always said Miami had a special place in his heart. “I love living in Miami,” he said. “It’s the best kept secret in the world, I think.”

Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado said the former chief will leave behind a legacy of community policing. “He gave the police department a national prominence, an international prominence,” said Regalado. “He lifted the police department in the City of Miami.”

Funeral arrangements are as follows:

Viewing:
Vior Funeral Home
291 NW 37th Ave.
Miami
Thursday, 3-10 p.m.
Vior’s Facebook page

Funeral:
St. Patrick’s Catholic Church
3716 Garden Ave.
Miami Beach
Friday, 11 a.m.
www.stpatrickmiamibeach.com

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