MIAMI – Miami's new police chief is a longtime employee of the police department who is set to retire in 2016.
Miami City Manager Daniel Alfonso picked Assistant Chief Rodolfo Llanes for the $190,000 a year job. The lover of cigars and "guayavera" shirts is better known in City Hall as "Rudy."
Llanes is a recent St. Thomas University master's degree graduate. He joined the department as a public service aid in 1986. A year later, he was sworn in as a police officer. He was a lieutenant for seven years and was promoted to major in 2007.
Former Miami police chief Miguel Exposito, who succeeded John Timoney, demoted Llanes from major to lieutenant in 2009. He also demoted dozens of others in leadership positions.
After Exposito was ousted in 2011, Llanes was promoted to assistant chief. He is set to retire October 2016 with an annual pension of $133,000.
Llanes now supervises internal affairs and special investigations. He is also involved in the testing of a 50-body-camera system.
The Fraternal Order of Police Sgt. Javier Ortiz has criticized the pilot program, which started with 18 cameras in the motorcycle unit.
"Hopefully he [Llanes] will break away from [Chief Manuel] Orosa's anti-police initiatives and actually support our Miami police officers," Ortiz said in a statement.
Alfonso was set to announce current Chief Manuel Orosa's replacement at 3 p.m., Monday, but in true Miami fashion the announcement was delayed about an hour due to traffic delays. Bayshore Drive was closed, because of a water main break.
Orosa plans to retire in January.
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THE SELECTION PROCESS
The choice was ultimately in the hands of Alfonso. Human resources and a committee narrowed down dozens of applicants to a list of ten, which included candidates from California, Texas and Michigan.
A panel -- Miami-Dade Police Chief J.D. Patterson, Deputy City Attorney John Greco, Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle, Public Defender Carlos Martinez,and Miami Fire Chief Maurice Kemp -- narrowed down the finalists to four.
Hugo Barrera was the panel's favorite, sources said. He is the special agent in charge of the Miami Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. He also directs ATFE operations in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Barrera is a former Miami homicide detective.
Another finalist was Malik Aziz is the deputy chief of the Dallas Police Department, and a 22-year veteran of the department. Aziz is also chairman of the National Black Police Association. Deputy Chief Luis Cabrera, a former assistant city manager, was also a finalist. He supervises administration and the budget for Miami police.