Art Acevedo sworn in as Miami Police chief

MIAMI (WSVN) - The City of Miami Police Department has a new top cop.

Art Acevedo was sworn in as the City of Miami Police Chief at around 9:30 a.m., Monday.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, Acevedo’s swearing-in ceremony was not open to the public.

“There’s a police car out there with lights and sirens — I’m ready to go!” said Acevedo. “I’ve got to get to work!”

He is now officially the 42nd Chief of Police for the City of Miami Police Department.

“He was already working before he even swore in,” said City of Miami Mayor Francis Suarez. “Last Saturday he was up at 3 o’clock in the morning out there in the streets of Miami.”

Acevedo comes to the Magic City from Houston, where he led the nation’s fourth-largest police department for five years.

Since the start of 2021, Houston has reported at least 100 murders. Acevedo, however, pointed his finger at the justice system and not his leadership.

“Some of these prosecutors across the country are more interested in coddling violent criminals than they are in coming to work for victims,” he said.

While serving as chief of police in Houston, Acevedo protected the community during Hurricane Harvey and worked around the clock during the recent Texas winter storm.

He also gained national attention last summer when he marched with protesters after the death of George Floyd.

Acevedo said he’s ready to lead the department while also holding his officers accountable.

“I’m going to be a big cheerleader, and every once in a while when they step out, we’re going to have to hold them accountable because that’s what’s required of us as peace officers,” he said.

Acevedo was born in Cuba and came to the U.S. as a refugee in 1968 when he was 4 years old. He said he sees Miami as a homecoming.

“Back to where it all started, with people who share our cultures,” he said. “You know, we’re very family-oriented and I just get a really good feeling for our men and women. I’m really excited.”

Acevedo is receiving high praise from Miami’s mayor and city manager, who said he was a “grand slam” and “the best chief in America.”

Copyright 2021 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.