New Miami Police Chief Art Acevedo shares future plans during meet and greet with residents

MIAMI (WSVN) - The City of Miami’s new police chief shared his future plans for the department during a meet and greet with residents.

Art Acevedo has been leading the city’s police department for the past two weeks, and he hosted a meet and greet on Friday for residents in his new community to ask questions.

“Oh, God, no, look, you can’t regret decisions,” Acevedo said. “All you can do is make the best of your decisions, and you got to look forward, not back. I love the people. I love the natural beauty. I love the food. I love the international flavor.”

While he enjoys the city, Acevedo said he has started building on what former Miami Police Chief Jorge Colina had in place.

“So far, I love what I’m seeing,” he said. “I’m seeing some things that I’m going to be changing. I’m not going to talk about them just yet, but overall, I love the spirit of the community and the spirit of the department.”

Acevedo said, along with other departments, that they are watching the trial of former Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin, who is accused of killing George Floyd. A verdict is expected to be delivered in the trial soon.

“We’re going to be with all hands on deck starting on Monday in case something happens, because I don’t want to see anything burn,” Acevedo said, “I don’t want to see anything break. I don’t want to see anybody get hurt.”

Following Floyd’s death, people protested peacefully throughout Miami. Authorities said there were some incidents along the way, including when demonstrators broke some windows, set cars on fire and walked on the highways.

Acevedo said he supports the First Amendment but does not tolerate criminal activity. He hopes to work on the relationship between the local community and the police.

“I’m going to hold them accountable. They’re going to hold me accountable,” Acevedo said. “We’re going to hold the community accountable when people step out, and I think if we do that, we’re going to end up building the trust that we desperately need to build to keep this community safe, as it continues to grow and to keep our officers safe, as they continue to serve.”

The chief added that although he is new in town, residents should not count him out.

“What you’re going to envision is a spirit of service, a spirit of treating people the way you want your own family member to be treated, a spirit of problem solving, a spirit of accountability and a spirit of respect,” Acevedo said.

When asked about officer-involved shootings within the Black community, Acevedo reiterated his point about accountability and building trust.

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