DORAL, Fla. – Miami-Dade County has a new top cop.
Joined by his wife and two of his four children, Freddy Ramirez was introduced Wednesday morning as the incoming director of the Miami-Dade Police Department.
Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez made the announcement at police headquarters in Doral.
The move comes after outgoing Director Juan Perez announced he will retire after nearly 30 years of service.
Gimenez thanked Perez, who began his career with the Miami-Dade Police Department in 1990, for his service and praised the department's accomplishments under Perez's watch.
“I am extremely honored that I had the opportunity to lead this agency and really to facilitate the agency,” Perez said.
Ramirez boasts a lengthy career with the department, rising through the ranks to become Perez’s No. 2 in command. A graduate of the University of Miami, Ramirez has spent his entire law enforcement career with the department, dating back to his days as a police officer trainee in 1995.
“My top priority is to keep my officers and my community safe,” Ramirez said. “And I look forward to continue working with all of you to achieve our goals.”
Ramirez said he recognizes the weight that comes with the role and said “the lives of men and women of our department and the community is on my hands.”
“It was on Juan’s and now it’s on mine, and I respect that deeply,” he said, fighting back tears. “I love my department. I love my officers. I love my civilian staff. Just like I love my family. Those are the only two things that keep me going, and the day that I die, I will be buried in this uniform right here.”