MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – Dozens of police officers from South Florida are heading to Washington, D.C., to help police secure the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden.
On Sunday, nearly 50 officers from the Miami-Dade Police Department packed up and reported for duty in our nation’s capital. And more support was on the way Monday from the Miami Beach Police Department and the Coral Gables Police Department.
Monday afternoon, 27 Coral Gables officers boarded a bus bound for Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport and then the nation’s capital.
Chief Ed Hudak said the assignment has been months in the making.
“The men and women have volunteered for this job some 6, 7 months ago. Their commitment to a smooth transition has not changed in wake of what we have seen throughout the county, and especially in Washington, D.C.,” Hudak said.
It comes at a volatile time in our country, just days after rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol building, and amid major security upgrades due to threats of additional violence.
Coral Gables Sgt. Addy Villanueva has been a law enforcement officer for 32 years and says she and her fellow officers are prepared for what comes their way.
“We’ve done multiple different types of training. We’ve prepared for this day. So, we’re excited,” Villanueva said. “My goal is for all of us to do our job, do it well, and come back to our families safe and in one piece.”
Early Monday morning, a group of Miami Beach police officers boarded a bus outside their station to head to D.C. as well. And Sunday, 45 members of Miami-Dade County’s rapid deployment force did the same.
The specially trained group from Miami-Dade County is made up of about 45 officers, who will be assisting with some of the security efforts surrounding Biden’s inauguration on Wednesday.
“These are specially trained individuals — they are a special unit that is available for challenging times,” Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said. “This is the fourth time that we’re sending a special unit up to a presidential inauguration and I feel very, very proud of the fact that these men and women are making the sacrifice to protect our nation’s capital during this important transition of power.”
Miami-Dade Police Director Freddy Ramirez shared a similar sentiment on Sunday.
“It’s a complete honor that every election cycle the Miami-Dade Police Department is called upon to stand shoulder to shoulder with other law enforcement agencies around the country to protect our democracy,” Ramirez said.