Opa-locka leaders announce termination of Police Chief James Dobson

Opa-locka Police Chief James Dobson. (WPLG)

OPA-LOCKA, Fla. – City of Opa-locka Mayor Matthew Pigatt and City Manager John Pate released a joint statement Friday morning, announcing the recent firing of Police Chief James Dobson.

“With a heavy heart and passion for law enforcement, I have made the unfortunate decision to remove Chief James Dodson as Police Chief for the Opa-locka Police Department,” Pate said. “The decision was made due to a myriad of situations stemming from the current crime rate the City has experienced the last couple of years, as well as the Police Department’s lack of progress based on the assessment report from earlier this year by the Miami-Dade County Police Department. It is for these reasons, as well as others, that the City has moved in a different direction.”

The mayor and city manager said the decision to fire the police chief was made after several months of an investigation.

“When our residents voted for change, one of their main concerns was public safety. This new commission took that into consideration when we recruited a former Chief of Police as our current City Manager. Mr. Pate, along with the help of the Miami-Dade Police Department, conducted a thorough assessment of our police department. The results speak for themselves,” Pigatt said. “Now, we have the opportunity to conduct a national search for a police chief who will consider the latest research on police reform, accountability, and community policing to enact evidence-based strategies to protect, serve, and reduce crime in the City of Opa-locka.”

The Opa-locka Police Department currently has 54 sworn officers and 10 civilian staff members serving the 4.1-square mile city. 

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Amanda Batchelor is the Digital Executive Producer for Local10.com.