A panel of five members unanimously picked Assistant Police Chief Ray Martinez as the new Chief of Police for Miami Beach, Thursday. Martinez has been acting Police Chief since the retiring of Chief Carlos Noriega in December. In that short time, Martinez has already made positive changes to a police department that has been plagued by mishap after mishap.
In vetting the candidates, Gonzalez stated: “In looking at who to appoint as the Chief of Police, the decision was based on who had the ability to best manage the necessary reforms in the police department. The reforms that have already been implemented in our Police Department over the past six months have proven to me that the right leadership to effect change can, indeed, be found from within. Assistant Chief Martinez brings a combination of experience within the organization from his tenure, with the benefit of over twenty-two years of police experience from outside the City of Miami Beach. As a decorated military veteran and a police officer injured twice in the line- of-duty, Assistant Chief Martinez brings an understanding of fundamental policing, with the much added benefit of management and administrative experience.”
Mark Overton the current Police Chief of the City of Hialeah has been chosen as Deputy Chief of Police.
This new, dynamic duo must still be approved by the sitting seven City Commission, who will vote at the upcoming Commission meeting, this Wednesday, March 21.
Gonzalez, whose future, will also be discussed at the same commission meeting, sent a 20 page memo to the Mayor and Commissioners stating that he stood firmly behind the panel’s recommendation.
“I believe that the combination of Assistant Chief Martinez and Chief Overton as Chief and Deputy Chief of Police for the City of Miami Beach Police Department will provide the right combination of experience, leadership, and commitment to effectively lead and reform the Police Department.”
A total of seventy- nine candidates applied from all over the country for the position. Thirteen candidates were invited to interview and then they were whittled down to four and given a final interview on February 22. The panel that eventually chose Martinez were City Manager Jorge M. Gonzalez, ATF Special Agent Hugo Barrera, former Beach Commissioner Victor M. Diaz, Director of the Miami Dade County Police Department James Loftus and City Attorney Jose Smith.
Martinez, who could earn around $200,000 in his new position as Chief of Police, is ebullient about the future and the job.
“My charge is to bring reform to the department and build public trust and confidence in the fine men and women of the Miami Beach Police Department,” Martinez said. “I am excited to take on this challenge, and I look forward to continuing to serve the residents, businesses and visitors of this community in this new capacity.”
Read Original Memo Here: Appointment of Chief of Police Memo