The Miami-Dade Police Department (MDPD), formerly known as the Metro-Dade Police Department (1981–1997), Dade County Public Safety Department (1957–1981) and the Dade County Sheriff's Office (1836–1957) is a Full Service County Police Department serving Miami-Dade County's unincorporated areas, although they have lenient mutual aid agreements with other incorporated municipalities, most often the City of Miami Police Department. The MDPD has approximately 4,700 employees. The Department is still often referred by its former name, the Metro-Dade Police or simply Metro. Miami-Dade Police officers are easily identified by their taupe/brown colored uniforms. Miami-Dade Police vehicles are identified by their green and white livery. MDPD officers carry silver badges, while officers with the ranks of sergeant and above carry gold badges.
The MDPD operates out of eight district stations throughout Miami-Dade County and several specialized bureaus. The MDPD is internationally accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, as well as at the state level by the Florida Commission for Law Enforcement Accreditation. The current director of the department is Juan J. Perez, who succeeded J.D. Patterson. The department's headquarters are located in Doral, Florida.
The Dade County Sheriff's Office was created in 1836 to serve the newly created County of Dade, which originally consisted of the area comprised by the present-day counties of Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach and Martin. In the early years, the entire area was policed by as few as three deputies on horseback, and Dade’s sheriffs were appointed by the governor. In 1899, the office of the sheriff became an elected position. By 1915, the jurisdiction area had been reduced to its present size of approximately 2,139 square miles.
In 1957, the metropolitan form of government was established, and the Dade County Sheriff's Office was subsequently renamed the Public Safety Department. The Public Safety Department’s organizational structure, as determined by the metropolitan charter, included responsibility for police and fire protection, the jail and stockade, civil defense, animal control, and motor vehicle inspection. In 1960, the Public Safety Department also assumed responsibility for police operations at the Port of Miami and Miami International Airport. By 1966, the Public Safety Department had approximately 850 sworn officers in its ranks. That year a long-standing controversy over the selection/election procedure for choosing a county sheriff was resolved by voter mandate. Subsequently, non-elected sheriffs were appointed by the county manager as "Director of the Public Safety Department and Sheriff of Metropolitan Dade County."
In 1973, the responsibility for running the county’s jails was transferred to the newly created Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. By that year, the Public Safety Department had also been divested of all other non-police responsibilities in order to concentrate entirely on law enforcement services. In July 1981, the Public Safety Department was renamed the Metro-Dade Police Department. In September 1997, voters decided to change the jurisdiction’s name to Miami-Dade County. In December of the same year, the Metro-Dade Police Department was renamed the Miami-Dade Police Department.
On September 13, 2007 four Miami-Dade Police Department officers were shot by a suspect with an AK-47, resulting in the death of one officer, Jose Somohano. Another officer suffered a serious leg injury. The suspect, Shawn Sherwin Labeet, fled the scene but was found in an apartment complex later that day. He was cornered in a poolhouse bathroom by members of Miami-Dade Police Special Response Team (equivalent to SWAT), and was shot and killed when he refused to drop a pistol he was holding.
On the morning of Thursday, January 20, 2011, two Miami-Dade Police officers were shot and killed by a homicide suspect, Johnny Sims. According to Miami-Dade Police Director James Loftus, the MDPD fugitive warrant team were assisting the U.S. Marshals Service in the city of Miami in apprehending the suspect, for whom a murder warrant had been issued. Police arrived at the suspect's mother's house and made contact with a member of the family, when the suspect surprised police by opening fire. Detective Roger Castillo, a 21-year veteran, was shot in the head and died at the scene, and Detective Amanda Haworth, a 23-year veteran, was shot several times and taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital's Ryder Trauma Center in grave condition. She underwent emergency surgery there, but died shortly thereafter. The suspect, Sims, was shot and killed by another detective at the scene.
MDPD provides law enforcement services to eight district stations throughout Miami-Dade County:
- Northwest District Station (Miami Lakes)
- Northside District Station (West Little River)
- Midwest District Station (Doral)
- South District Station (Cutler Ridge)
- Kendall District Station (Kendall)
- Intracoastal District Station (North Miami Beach)
- West District Station (The Hammocks)
- Airport District Station (Miami International Airport, Florida)
Contracted municipalitiesTown of Miami Lakes (1)
Village of Palmetto Bay (4)
Town of Cutler Bay (4)
Breakdown of the makeup of the rank and file of MDPD:Male: 75.58%
All rank insignia are worn on the collars of the shirt, except for sergeant and corporal, which are worn on each sleeve, below the department patch.
Miami-Dade Police is the law enforcement agency depicted in the following television shows, films, and video games:Miami Vice
Dexter as Miami Metro Police
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, as the Vice City Police Department
Ace Ventura: Pet Detective as South Dade Police
Pain & Gain
Jane the Virgin
Bad Boys 2