For 14 years, Lt. Bill Schwartz was the face of the Miami Police Department.
As one of the most outspoken public information officers in the country, Schwartz left a lasting impact in South Florida.
Then, after retiring from the force in 2008, his life took a dramatic turn. For the past three years, Schwartz has been starring in a new role – as a nude model.
Schwartz, 60, is used to being center stage, from the drama of Elian Gonzalez to the performing arts, where he has a true passion for theatre.
“After leaving the police department I was in a show where I had a nude scene, and the show and even my performance got mediocre reviews, but my body got raves,” Schwartz said.
He travels to art classes around South Florida a few times a week.
“Bill’s interesting because he’ll strike some interesting poses, I guess,” said Michael Valverde, a student at Broward College.
Jan Johnson, an art professor at the school, said Schwartz is a natural at nude modeling.
“He immediately knows what I’m talking about when I say I need a certain type of pose,” she said.
At Broward College she teaches her students to capture the proportion, scale and energy of the model.
“I find this is a real privilege because I’m in a partnership with the artist to create something special, and nothing gives me a bigger thrill than to walk around during a break and see just how beautiful their work is,” Schwartz said.
As a lieutenant, Schwartz was a tough, companionate, and sincere character, but it wasn’t until he started doing his current body of work that he realized how confident he is in his own skin.
“Well, in theatre we always talk about being in the moment on stage. It’s very difficult, because in life being in the moment is very difficult. And I think that this job has helped me learn how to be in the moment,” he said.
It’s a moment some of his former colleagues get a good laugh out of – but also respect him for it.
“I’ve always wanted to recreate myself from the time I was young, do different things, never repeat myself much, and I think the police department was great because there was a lot of variety there and I loved it, it was a great career,” Schwartz said. “Acting is great in that way – you play different roles. And this has been great. I guess I can’t wait to see what’s gonna happen next.”
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