Shake up Miami-Dade public safety surprises many, but is long overdue – Politics Cortadito

Or ‘How Daniel Junior’s demotion caused a domino effect’

A major shake-up in the direction of Miami-Dade Public Safety and Corrections was announced Friday by the mayor Daniella Levine Cava. The changes involve at least eight people – but you could argue that none of this would have happened if The Alcaldesa no need to knock Daniel Juniorthe director of Miami-Dade Corrections and Rehabilitation, took it down a notch.

Or two. Or three.

Junior, who was named the county’s top jail and jail dog by the former mayor Carlos Gimenez in 2016, was demoted to Deputy Director of Seaport Safety and Security Enforcement. So basically the head of the harbor patrol. A version of the mall cop.

His demotion triggers a series of changes that include moves for the position of chief public safety officer JD Patterson and chief of police Freddy Ramirez.

The Alcaldesaas usual, tried to give the best of himself.

“He will provide important leadership to the Port’s management team and help maintain a safe and secure environment as we continue to expand our operations to meet increased cargo growth and the resumption of cruise business,” he said. said Levine Cava of Junior, who has more than 26 years of senior county leadership experience and “a proven track record overseeing and managing civilian and sworn personnel in a major county department.”

Daniel Junior congratulating Freddy Ramirez on being named Miami-Dade Police Director.

Really? This despite trouble at the prison with the suicide in January and the lawsuit brought by three transgender people who were abused after their arrest during the Black Lives Matter protest since 2020, and the accusations of abuse and spoiled food.

Related read: Will they stay or will they go? Changes in Miami-Dade County administration

Junior was never a good choice for the director. He had been accused of domestic violence and served on the general staff for 20 years, including when in 2013 a woman was assaulted by more than a dozen men and when in 2014 prison authorities tortured to death prisoner Darren Rainey, who was mentally ill. , scalding it in the shower.

Maybe Levine Cava – who wouldn’t answer questions about the changes – should have demoted him a long time ago.

Junior wouldn’t be sent to the Siberia County version if he didn’t have such an awful record in corrections. And he’s the only one of eight staff members who doesn’t even need to report to work this week because his number 2 is already the boss. All others begin March 1.

None of that history or context was in the mayor’s memo. No. No need for such honest details. There was also no word on how it will or will not affect a Justice Department executive order that the county has been subject to since 2013.

Instead, it was all flowery and soft – and looked way too much like a pat on the back.

“Since being elected mayor in November 2020, I have constantly worked to improve our departments and improve our teams in order to provide the best quality of services possible and to further ensure public safety in our communities”, a- she wrote in what looks like a campaign message.

“I believe a transparent government is one that listens to its constituents and takes concrete action when necessary,” she wrote, essentially mocking the word transparent.

Levine Cava gives the impression that these changes are normal, even voter-induced. Like ‘Nothing to see here, friends.’ When in fact it was a big surprise to many, if not everyone.

The Alcaldesa apparently didn’t talk to anyone before making these drastic changes. Well, maybe she spoke to those around her, but not to the stakeholders. The chairman of the commission did not return several calls but people close to him said he knew nothing. Neither does the Attorney General’s Office or the Public Defender’s Office.

Commissioner Sally Heyman, who chairs the county’s Community Safety Committee, told the Miami Herald that she was not informed of the changes until the day before the announcement. She had the impression that Junior was doing a good job.

“I feel discouraged and disappointed,” she reportedly said.

These are the falling dominoes:

  • Patterson, who was named the county’s first chief public safety officer under Daniella less than a year ago, will serve on a “special assignment” to the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (MDCR). The Air Force vet moves around a lot. He served as police chief at Miami Gardens before rejoining the county, where he served as director of police from 2013 to 2016 – when the public corruption unit was dismantled under Gimenez’s leadership. “JD’s extensive experience in public safety will ensure that anyone in Miami-Dade’s custody receives the appropriate services,” Levine Cava wrote. That’s a lot of pressure to put on one person, Alcaldesa.
  • Cassandra Jones, a correctional veterinarian with 26 years of supervisory experience who is currently assistant warden, will take over as acting warden. “She has shown dedication to the success of the department and the professional development of her employees,” DLC said. Jones – who was number 2 under Junior and all his duds – is the only date “effective immediately”. So since last Friday.
  • Miami-Dade Police Superintendent Alfredo “Freddy” Ramirez will be promoted to acting chief public safety officer. A 25-year veteran, Ramirez joined the Miami-Dade department in 1995 and rose through the ranks to become director in January 2020. in gun violence prevention and homicide reduction. writes the mayor in her note.
  • Georges Perez, deputy director of the MDPD, will act as interim director. A law enforcement officer for more than 22 years, Perez has commanded the City of Miami Lakes, the Northside District, the Office of Professional Compliance and, now, the Police Department – 2,500 sworn and civilian employees in operations south, operations north and the strategic intervention division. .
  • Stephanie Daniels, another deputy director of the MDPD, will become the new number 2 and the first woman to hold the position of deputy director. Daniels joined the MDPD in 1992 after working for the State’s Attorney’s Office and the Miami Police Department. In 2016, she made history when she was named the first black woman to hold her current position.
  • Rahel Weldeyesus, senior adviser for innovation and performance in the mayor’s office, will serve as senior adviser for public safety on a “special assignment” at the MDPD to help with the transition of the sheriff – which essentially means Levine Cava’s spy on duty. from police. One of the Power Rangers for Equity and Diversity in the mayor’s office, and the campaign team before that, Weldeyesus led the county’s Thrive305 initiative, the “largest civic engagement effort in history.” of the county government” – in which no one knows that Ladra participated. She is over 15 years old. years of experience in strategic planning, performance management and public safety, working with government agencies, nonprofits and community organizations. And this qualifies her to be the resource person on the transition to a sheriff?
  • Jason Smith, another of the mayor’s Power Rangers as director of equity and inclusion in the mayor’s office, will serve as the acting senior adviser for equity and engagement, which is not the same as the principal advisor for innovation and performance. Both still a bite to eat and sounds like a job in the Land of Oz. The Mayor assures us that Smith is a public policy professional with nearly two decades of experience in economic development and community engagement.

“I am confident that these staff moves will build on the successes and lessons learned in the first year of my administration to provide the focus and changes needed as we enter our second year,” the mayor wrote.

That’s right! Levine Cava was mayor for just over a year. year! And a lot of county leadership changed during that time.

Related Read: La Alcaldes Restructures Miami-Dade to Focus on Politics, Equity and Social Services

The airport has a new manager in ralph cutie, which was a surprise to everyone (more on that later). He served as Deputy Director of the Department of Aviation for Facilities Management and Engineering under Lester Sola, who was expelled after several supply problems. Former Director of Internal Services Tara Smith was also kicked out, uh, quit “to pursue her dreams” — which was apparently to work somewhere where her decisions wouldn’t be politically challenged. Now director of the Washington State Department of Business Services, Smith was replaced by the former director of animal services Alex Munoz.

Its good. These administrators are interchangeable. The animal guy can now do the supply. Why not? Sola was director of water and sewer before being director of the airport. And director of internal services before that. And the election supervisor before this.

Isn’t it kind of the same thing? Or could that be one of the reasons Miami-Dade is such a mess?

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