MIAMI (WSVN) - City of Miami Police Chief Jorge Colina has announced he will be stepping down from his position in the new year.
The Miami Herald first reported that the police chief plans to retire in January 2021 after serving nearly two and a half years as the department’s leader.
“You know, I wanted to give the manager and the mayor enough time to be able to find my replacement, without being rushed and without it being chaotic,” he said. “That’s why I thought it was important to make this announcement now. My last day will be Jan. 31, but it’s important that we have a smooth transition here, that they don’t feel rushed and they can make the right choice. Then, we’re able to transition that chief here and this department doesn’t feel a bump and neither do you, because I’m sure, whoever the next chief is going to be, they’re just going to take us to the next level.”
Just before noon, Colina took to social media where he shared why he chose to announce his retirement so far ahead of his intended date.
“The outpouring of appreciation for me as your police chief, it’s been quite remarkable,” Colina said. “We’ve had two of the lowest crime rates in the history of this police department, and again, I know that that doesn’t happen without your help.”
During a Thursday news conference, Colina thanked the men and women inside the department and the community for helping him achieve many of his goals.
“I get to be the face of the police department as the chief of police, but the truth is that they’re the ones that have done the hard work and heavy lifting,” Colina said.
Colina has helped navigate the department through the coronavirus pandemic and social unrest in 2020. For weeks, there were large protests throughout the city, including one night where some protesters and police officers clashed outside the downtown Miami police station.
“I would just like to thank this police chief for his leadership of this department and the way they have handled this year as a whole,” City of Miami Commissioner Ken Russell said.
He was one of the first city officials to test positive for COVID-19 in April, along with Mayor Francis Suarez.
“He’s done a magnificent job, and I’m very proud of the work that he’s done,” Suarez said. “Most recently, everyone saw, the nation saw how he handled the protest while, number one, ensuring our residents had the right to exercise their constitutional right to peacefully protest. He also maintained the safety and order of our city at all times.”
Soon after, Colina came under fire after he was accused of using a racial slur earlier in his career. The chief said his comments during a training exercise in 1997 were taken out of context and claims the accusations were dirty politics in action.
Despite announcing his retirement from the department, Colina said he is optimistic about the future of the department.
Colina has been with the department for over 30 years.
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