Miami-Dade's new police director is a familiar face who's been with the department for nearly 30 years.
J.D. Patterson, an officer who first joined the department's ranks in 1983 and has worked at the agency continuously since 1985, was officially named to the position Friday.
"We felt that he had the faith and confidence of the rank and file," County Mayor Carlos Gimenez said at a news conference Friday. Gimenez said the choice for Patterson was clear, noting his experience and rapport with his colleagues.
The 52-year-old is a married father of two and is also a licensed Baptist minister. He's served as acting director since November 2012.
"I've always had a servant's heart," said Patterson, who said his top priority would be building on a positive trend. "I want violent crime to continue to go down."
Patterson said he has talked with Gimenez about resource issues in the past, and he'd like to add more officers and technology.
"Our community needs to have an honest dialog about violence, at the same time, take it beyond the dialog, we need to develop a plan," he said.
He grew up in Miami, went to Miami Jackson Senior High. He graduated from Barry University with a degree in Human Resource Management in 1995 and has an associate's degree in criminal justice from Miami-Dade Community College. He earned a Master's degree in 1998 in public administration from the University of Miami.
Patterson replaces James Loftus, who retired in October after nearly 30 years with the department.
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