MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. – Delma Noel-Pratt was sworn in Monday as Miami Gardens' first female police chief.
"Today is day one, and today I start working," Noel-Pratt told Local 10 News. "I'm not taking any time off right now. I just want to get out there in the community, talk to different people in the community and try to see exactly what's needed in each area of the city."
Noel-Pratt has 24 years of police experience and has served throughout Miami-Dade County.
She began her career in 1989 as a public service aide for the Miami Police Department. In 1993, she joined the Miami-Dade Police Department as a certified police officer.
While with Miami-Dade police, Noel-Pratt worked her way up to the rank of major.
In her last position, she was responsible for areas such as Miami International Airport and Port Miami. She oversaw about 450 sworn and nonsworn employees and was responsible for all functions in the court services, economic crimes, narcotics, informational technology services, Homeland Security and warrants bureaus.
"She comes with a strong will, and she is going to hold the department accountable," Miami-Dade police director Juan Perez said. "She believes in the philosophy of teamwork."
Noel-Pratt's husband of more than 20 years, who is a crime investigator with the city of Miami, watched his wife get sworn in as Miami Gardens top cop.
"From the time I met her, I knew she was destined for greatness," Kenneth Pratt said.
The Pratts' three daughters were also proud to see their mother make history as the department's first female police chief.
"I am really proud of her," Kayla Pratt said. "She always does the right thing and never gives up."
Noel-Pratt holds an associate degree from Miami Dade College, a bachelor's degree and legal assistant certificate from Barry University and a master's degree from Lynn University.