Miami-Dade County Public Schools swears in new police chief

Edwin Lopez has worked in school system for 20 years

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – The Miami-Dade public schools district has a new police chief who was sworn in Monday as safety in schools remains a major concern. 

Chief Edwin Lopez, a Miami native, has worked in the school system for 20 years and is currently a professor at Miami Dade College. He said he hopes to build a bridge between students and law enforcement officers in the classroom and at home.

Law enforcement officials and Miami-Dade School Board members gathered Monday to swear in Lopez.

"Regrettably, America has witnessed an unacceptable phenomenon, threatening the safe place that we call schools," Lopez said. "I understand this and with the support of all, I pledge to make sure our schools remain the safest place for my kids and all children to be in."

One of the main topics discussed Monday included Lopez's plans regarding school safety following the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. 

"You see, we could've went the cheaper route, the easier route, recruited people, trained them and given them a firearm and deployed them to a school," Superintendent Alberto Carvalho said. 

The school shooting sparked a statewide public safety act that requires every public school to have a school resource officer. 

"That would be an impossible task to do solely with MDCPS PD," Lopez said. "We simply don't have the number of officers. So what the public safety act has done is forced us to form partnerships with our fellow municipalities to make sure they are providing presence in every school, and that is a goal of ours. And the superintendent and I are committed to making that a reality come Aug. 20."