Opa-Locka

Opa-locka Police Chief Removed From Job After Investigation

The move came after an investigation based on the city’s current crime rate and the department’s “lack of progress” based on a report

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The city of Opa-locka is looking for a new leader for their police department after chief James Dobson was removed from the office Friday.

Mayor Matthew Pigatt and city manager John Pate released a statement announcing the move, which came after an investigation based on the city’s current crime rate and the department’s “lack of progress." The findings were issued in a report earlier this year from the Miami-Dade Police Department.

“When our residents voted for change, one of their main concerns was public safety,” Pigatt said in a statement. “Mr. Pate, along with the help of the Miami-Dade Police Department, conducted a thorough assessment of our police department. The results speak for themselves.”

Whoever becomes chief next will have to transform the traditional practices to a "21st century" police department, Pigatt said.

“Now, we have the opportunity to conduct a national search for a police chief who will consider the latest research on police reform, accountability, and community policing to enact evidence-based strategies to protect, serve, and reduce crime in the City of Opa-locka,” Pigatt added.

Dobson had served in the position since October of 2014 after previously holding positions with various agencies including the Doral Police Department, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Florida Highway Patrol.

NBC 6 was unable to reach the former chief for comment.

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