BAL HARBOUR, Fla. – Bal Harbour Police Chief Miguel "Mike" de la Rosa, a 30-year veteran of law enforcement and a strong proponent of community policing, died Saturday. He was 49.
De la Rosa died from an aggressive form of cancer, said Brian Andrews, a spokesman for the Village of Bal Harbour.
City officials said De la Rosa only learned of his cancer diagnosis about a week ago and that he had prior surgery in October to remove a benign tumor, but he was deemed cancer free at that time. Since then, as he had been recovering, he had been working light duty at the department.
A Miami native, De la Rosa joined the Bal Harbour Police Department in 2014. He became chief in 2016, replacing Mark Overton, who died suddenly of a heart attack.
“We are incredibly and deeply saddened by the loss of such a dedicated public servant who spent his entire life protecting others,” said Gabriel Groisman, mayor of Bal Harbour Village.
De la Rosa started his career with the Hialeah Police Department, eventually becoming a major with experience in special investigations, support services and uniformed patrol.
"He was a great law enforcement professional," Miami-Dade County State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle said. "My thoughts and prayers are with his family and his beloved sister, who is one of my dear (State Attorney's Office) team members."
Today’s a sad day for Miami Dade LEO family with the passing of Chief Miguel DeLaRosa. Friend, colleague, and Chairman of Membership Comittee, Mike was taken too soon and will be remembered for his exceptional leadership and sense of humor. Prayers for his family and coworkers. pic.twitter.com/hxzDUxtzZv— MDCACP (@MiamiDadeChiefs) January 28, 2018
De la Rosa was a member of the Miami Dade County Association of Chiefs of Police. The group paid tribute to De la Rosa on Twitter Sunday.
"Mike was taken too soon and will be remembered for his exceptional leadership and sense of humor," the group said.
De La Rosa's funeral services are scheduled for Wednesday at the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Hialeah. A public viewing will be held from 9:45 a.m. to 11 a.m. A funeral mass will follow at 11 a.m.