Art Acevedo, the Houston police chief who forged a national profile by calling for gun control, marching with protesters after George Floyd's death and criticizing President Donald Trump is taking the top job in the Miami Police Department.
Acevedo was introduced as the city's top cop during a news conference Monday with Mayor Francis Suarez and other city officials. Suarez said Acevedo will join the department in four to six weeks.
"We will not allow mediocrity at the Miami Police Department," Acevedo said at the news conference. "I promise you I am not a wallflower when it comes to discipline and calling out bad policing. You can do your research. You’ll find out that I am not a friend of bad cops, but I will stand up for good cops."
Acevedo is leaving the 5,400-person department in Houston, the fourth largest in the country which he's led since 2016, to run the 1,400-person department in Miami and is the fifth police chief in the last decade.
Suarez called Acevedo the "best chief in America" and told the Miami Herald it was "like getting the Tom Brady or the Michael Jordan of police chiefs."
Over the past year, the 56-year-old Acevedo - who is a registered Republican - has drawn national spotlight for marching with protestors after the death of George Floyd and spoke out against former President Donald Trump while speaking at the Democratic National Convention.
Acevedo reportedly wrote a letter to his officers announcing the move, according to the Houston Chronicle.
“We have been through so much as an extended family,” he wrote. “Hurricane Harvey, two world series, a Super Bowl, Irma, the summer of protest, and most recently, an ice storm of epic proportion. On top of all this, we have sadly buried six of our fallen heroes.”
Acevedo was born in Cuba and is the son of a former police officer in Havana. He immigrated at the age of four and after college spent over two decades with the California Highway Patrol before being named the police chief in Austin, Texas in 2007.
Acevedo will replace Jorge Colina, who has spent just over three years on the job but announced in September that he would retire in early 2021.
After spending three decades working in police forces for the city, Colina took over as chief in 2018 and led the city to the lowest homicide rate in 50 years during his first year on the job.
Colina’s tenure hasn’t been without rough points either, as he dealt with protests over racial injustice this past summer and admitted to using offensive language while teaching a course about street narcotics operations while denying use of the N-word in reference to Overtown.
Colina also oversaw the creation of a pre-arrest diversion program for some opioid arrests during his tenure and voiced his objection to a law signed by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis requiring law enforcement officers to work with immigration authorities on arrests.