I graduated from Miami Senior High School in 1985 and began my undergraduate at the University of Miami. I graduated from the police academy when I was 20 years old and joined the ranks of the City of Miami Police Department as a Police Officer.
It was during the next 5 years in the streets of this community where most of my learning took place. I worked throughout the City of Miami, in various capacities, as Police Officer, Robbery Detective and as a Sergeant of the Coconut Grove Problem Solving Team. This provided me with the opportunity to learn first-hand the many different needs of the citizens I served, and to provide direct assistance to all stakeholders. I have served my community with honor and integrity, never hesitating to go beyond the call of duty whenever necessary. The 40 awards and commendations attained during this period speaks for itself.
I continued my education and in 1992 received a Bachelor of Professional Studies from Barry University. In time, I diversified and became involved in various other business ventures which further provided solid and stable financial stability for my family outside law enforcement. In 2003, I vested from the Miami Police Department but remained as a law enforcement professional until May of 2015. Continuing my public service career, in 2009 I began working as Executive Assistant to City of Miami Commissioner Wilfredo “Willy” Gort where I learned about other aspects of governmental functions at every level including but not limited to drafting legislation, day to day operational functions, as well as performing in-depth internal audits. I received my Master’s degree from St. Thomas University in 2013. Afterward, I was given the opportunity to work as a special projects coordinator for the Assistant Chief of Police within the City of Miami Police Department from 2013-2015. In this capacity, I took on many roles that included administrative and operational oversight of a large police organization of approximately twelve hundred sworn personnel.
In May of 2015, I was hired as Chief of Police by the Mayor of the City of Sweetwater to bring much needed organizational and cultural change to the City of Sweetwater Police Department (SWPD) I inherited a department that had endured many years of hardship. This hardship created a negative impact on the rank and file of the department. This culture had impacted morale, services, efficiency, and the loss of trust from the community it serves. The members within the department had lost its perspective on how to correct behavior or in the inverse positively re-enforce ethical behavior.
In order to properly address these issues, I began a culture renewal project. I concentrated my efforts on the major organizational changes in order to raise the level of service the residents deserve. This including building a team with years of law enforcement expertise and credibility. This team would face difficult changes that needed to be implemented in order to re-energize and motivate the members within the police department.
I was able to lead by example and immediately demonstrate what professionalism, leadership, mentoring, communication, and teaching others was all about. I, along with the command staff, embarked on efforts to promote efficiency and regain the trust of the residents. In order to bring the level of service and trust back to the standards the residents deserve, major changes had to be implemented. It was critical that all members within the police department embrace a common mission, and goal. I, along with the new command staff, implemented new directives, general orders, operating procedures throughout the department.
A key issue that was identified was the lack of a clear mission statement. I adopted a simple statement that was easily understood and communicable. I re-enforced the mission and vision was to protect and serve with honor and integrity. I also communicated my vision and looked for buy inform the rank in file by keeping communication fluid upward as well as downward in the organization. I was able to motivate those under my command to buy into the concept of building professionalism, well-compensated, and respected workforce that can be used as a model for others to follow.
I was able to empower the members by establishing a labor-management committee. This was established to bring management, labor, and administration together on a monthly basis in order to address concerns and also to provide ideas and or suggestions. This allowed for an open forum to discuss the overall mission of the department and also the benefits associated with the changes that are planned for the department. The organization was transformed into a community policing-based organization that is becoming a university city working closely with Florida International University. I established working relationships with all federal, municipal, state, and local agencies along with working memorandums of understanding. In addition, I dealt with server; critical incidents including a major hurricane, several active shooter incidents at one of the nation’s largest malls, and devastating FIU bridge collapse.
During my tenure at the City of Sweetwater Police Department, I have provided the leadership necessary for an effective change. In 2017, the Sweetwater Police Department went from an organization plagued with issues to a professionally accredited organization by The Florida Law Enforcement Accreditation Commission. Currently, the SWPD is a healthy and thriving organization committed to serving its community.