Houston police chief appointed top cop in Miami

Art Acevedo was born un Cuba, expected to start in 4-8 weeks

Cuba native Art Acevedo left as Houston's top cop to take over the City of Miami's police department.

MIAMI, Fla. – Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo will become Miami’s next police chief, City of Miami Mayor Francis Suarez formally announced Monday.

Suarez commended Acevedo as being one of the best police chiefs in the nation, as he is currently leading the fourth-largest department in the country.

Acevedo said his first order of business will be building trust with the community.

“We’re living in a time in our nation’s history where the American people are hurting,” Acevedo said during Monday’s news conference outside City Hall. “And there’s a lot of pain in this nation. And unless we take the time to feel that pain, process that pain, acknowledge that pain of communities of color that disproportionately are impacted by bad policing, we will never get beyond the summer of 2020.”

Acevedo said he is not about politics but about service and would advocate on behalf of any good cop, but would not accept mediocrity within the department.

Acevedo, who was born in Cuba and was the first Hispanic person to lead the Houston Police Department, is expected to start his new role in four to eight weeks.

“We appreciate his service to Houston, and wish him the best in Miami,” Houston Police Officer’s Union President Doug Griffith said in a statement a day earlier.

Acevedo served more than four years as HPD chief, leading more than 5,200 police officers and 1,000 support staff.

“I can say leaving will truly be bittersweet,” Acevedo said in an email to the department. “We have been through so much as an extended family; Hurricane Harvey, two World Series, a Super Bowl, Irma, the summer of protests, and most recently, an ice storm of epic proportion. On top of all of this, sadly we have buried 6 of our fallen heroes. No matter the challenge, you have all risen to the occasion, and you have honored the sacrifices of our fallen comrades with resiliency and sustained excellence.”

Acevedo said he “was not looking for this opportunity when it arose, but with the end of (Houston) Mayor (Sylvester) Turner’s final term in office fast approaching, and my strong desire to continue serving as a police officer, we decided the timing for this move was good.”

The Houston police chief, who was hired by Miami City Manager Art Noriega, replaces Miami Chief of Police Jorge Colina, who retired in February after being Miami’s Chief of Police for three years.

Acevedo wasn’t included in a list of candidates that the city sent to Local 10 in mid-February, which included five who work for the Miami Police Department: Armando Aguilar, Assistant Chief, Miami Police Department; DeShawn Beaufort, Chief Inspector, Philadelphia Police; Francisco Fernandez, Major, Miami Police Department; Cherise Gause, Assistant Chief, Miami Police Department; Jason Lando, Commander, Pittsburgh Bureau of Police; Manuel Morales, Assistant Chief, Miami Police Department; Ronald Lee Papier, Deputy Chief, Miami Police Department; and Raul Pintos, Deputy Chief, New York City Police Department.

Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo will become Miami’s next police chief, City of Miami Mayor Francis Suarez formally announced on Monday.

About the Authors:

Michelle F. Solomon is a multi-platform producer/reporter for Local10 and is the podcast producer/reporter/host of the station's original, true-crime podcast The Florida Files and producer of Local10.com's DigiShorts.