The Miami Police Department (MPD), also known as the City of Miami Police, is the chief police department of the southeastern U.S. city of Miami, Florida. Their jurisdiction lies within the actual city limits of Miami, but have mutual aid agreements with neighboring police departments. Currently Rodolfo Llanes is the chief of police. City of Miami police are distinguishable from their Miami-Dade counterparts by their blue uniforms and blue-and-white patrol vehicles.
In 2010, the Miami Police Department was recognized by the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) with a special award for its community policing initiatives aimed at improving homeland security. The department was singled out for this distinction from a list of over 18,000 police agencies nationwide.
Miami Police Officers are issued the Glock Model 22 .40 S&W, prior to the Glock Model 22 officers were armed with the Glock Model 17 9mm which was in service from the late 1980's to the early 2000's. Detectives are issued either the Glock Model 23 .40 or the more compact Glock Model 27 .40. Prior to issuing the semi-automatic Glock pistols MPD officers were issued .38 Special Smith and Wesson Model 64 and Smith and Wesson Model 67 while detectives had the Smith and Wesson Model 60 "Chiefs Special" revolver also in .38 Special.
There are three patrolling districts and eleven neighborhoods for which the following districts are responsible:North District
Rank insignia for senior patrol officer, sergeant and senior patrol sergeant is worn on the upper sleeves below the shoulder patch while rank insignia for lieutenant through chief is worn on the collars of the shirt.
The demographics of full-time sworn personnel are:Male: 82%
Since the establishment of the Miami Police Department, 37 officers have died in the line of duty.
The US Department of Justice (DOJ) has twice investigated the Miami Police Department since 2002.
A civil investigation conducted between 2011 and 2013 found that the city of Miami Police Department (MPD) has "engaged in a pattern or practice of excessive use of force through officer-involved shootings in violation of the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution." Between 2008 and 2011, officers intentionally shot at individuals on 33 separate occasions, three of which MPD itself found unjustified. The US DOJ found that a number of MPD practices, including deficient tactics, improper actions by specialized units, as well as egregious delays and substantive deficiencies in deadly force investigations, contributed to the pattern or practice of excessive force. However, it should be noted that all of the aforementioned officer-involved shootings that have been analyzed to date by the State Attorneys Office were found to be justified.
The DOJ's findings noted that MPD did not provide close supervision or hold individuals accountable for their actions by failing to complete thorough, objective and timely investigations of officer-involved shootings. For a significant number of the shootings, including one that occurred in 2008, MPD has not reached a conclusion internally as to whether or not the officer’s firearm discharge was lawful and within policy. The DOJ also found that MPD’s failure to complete timely and thorough investigations of officer-involved shootings undermined accountability and exposed MPD officers and the community to unreasonable risks that might have been addressed through prompt corrective action, noting that several investigations remained open for more than three years. Significantly, a small number of officers were involved in a disproportionate number of shootings, while the investigations into their shootings continued to be egregiously delayed. The DOJ noted that similar deficiencies were found in its previous investigation that began in 2002.
The 2011-2013 investigation was conducted by the Special Litigation Section of the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida, with the assistance of an experienced law enforcement expert, pursuant to the pattern or practice provision of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994. It involved an in-depth review of thousands of documents, including written policies and procedures, training materials, and internal reports, photographs, video and audio recordings and investigative files. The review benefited from productive dialogue with MPD supervisors and officers, city of Miami officials, the Office of the State Attorney, the Civilian Investigative Panel, and members of the Miami community. The DOJ provided feedback to MPD during the investigation and commended Miami police chief Manuel Orosa for taking steps to address some of the deficiencies identified since the investigation began.
The findings letter of the investigation is available on the DOJ website. To address the issues it identified, the city will enter a judicially overseen agreement with the DOJ. In a statement responding to the investigation, Chief Manuel Orosa said, "The Miami Police Department welcomes this long-awaited response and looks forward to the opportunity to clarify several components of the letter, as well as to labor intensely to negotiate an agreement with the Department of Justice, as promptly as possible.”
Former Chief Miguel A. Exposito has criticized the latest investigation of the Miami Police Department by the US Justice Department(DOJ), labeling it as slipshod and as a hatchet job against the agency. Among his criticisms was the intentional or negligent failure on the part of DOJ investigators to interview both he and former Chief John F. Timoney, who were the department's directors during the time-frame analyzed in the DOJ probe, this despite the fact that he had formally notified DOJ that he possessed information crucial to the outcome of the investigation and of his willingness to cooperate fully with investigators. Chief Exposito also criticized the Justice Department's final report as being vague, lacking substance and riddled with substantial inaccuracies, omissions and baseless conclusions. The former chief described many of DOJ's findings as nothing more than opinions and innuendoes. Chief Exposito concluded his rebuttal by stating, "By employing a partisan, distorted and myopic approach, coupled with unprofessional and unorthodox investigative practices, the Justice Department has done a great disservice to the law-abiding people of Miami, the men and women in law enforcement, and even the families of the decedents, who I trust were anticipating that DOJ would provide objective conclusions based on honest assessments and factual data."
As a result, he has asked Florida Senator Marco Rubio and Texas Senator Ted Cruz to request a Senate inquiry into the unethical conduct of DOJ investigators during the probe of the police department.
On October 11, 2011, MPD Officer Fausto Lopez was speeding to a moonlighting job at up to 120 mph when he was caught by a state trooper after a 7-minute chase, with the video going viral on YouTube. The state trooper initially believed that the MPD cruiser had been stolen, so Lopez was arrested at gunpoint and handcuffed. This started a feud between the Florida Highway Patrol and the MPD (who regarded the arrest as an overreaction), involving police blog accusations and insults, posters attacking the state trooper who stopped Lopez, and someone smearing feces on another trooper's patrol car. An investigation by the South Florida Sun-Sentinel in February 2012 examined SunPass toll records and found that 800 cops from a dozen South Florida agencies drove their cruisers above 90 mph in 2011, mostly while off duty. As a result of the Sun-Sentinel report, 158 state troopers and officers were disciplined mostly receiving a reprimand and losing their take-home cars for up to six months. Lopez, who was found to have driven 90 mph on more than 80 occasions, was suspended with pay in early July 2012 and terminated from the Miami Police on September 13, 2012.