Art Acevedo confirmed to CNN in an email Monday morning that he would leave his current position later more than four years to become the next police chief of the city of Miami.
In a letter to the department that was sent to CNN, Acevedo said, “We’ve been through an extended family; Hurricane Harvey, two world series, a Super Bowl, Irma, the summer of protests, and more recently a ice storm of epic proportion. “
Acevedo has become an apparatus in national discussions on police and public safety and has spoken out frequently against national and state Republican lawmakers.
“Let me tell the president of the United States on behalf of the police chiefs of this country, please, if you have nothing constructive to say, keep your mouth shut,” Acevedo said. “Because you’re putting men and women in their twenties at risk. It’s not about dominating, it’s about winning hearts and minds.”
Houston is the fourth largest city in the United States with a population of 2.3 million. Acevedo has headed a department consisting of 5,400 sworn police officers and 892 civilian support staff.
He will move to a smaller department in Miami, which has about 1,300 sworn officers.
“I wasn’t looking for that opportunity when it came up, but with the end of the term of Mayor (Sylvester) Turner, which was fast approaching and my strong desire to continue as a police officer, we decided it was time to that play was good, “Acevedo said in his letter to the Houston department.
Acevedo began his police career with the California Highway Patrol in 1986 as a field patrol officer in Los Angeles and was named head of the California Highway Patrol in 2005, according to his biography. He also served for nine years as Austin’s police chief.
Houston and the rest of Texas have suffered the Covid-19 pandemic. Earlier this month, Acevedo described the governor’s decision to lift a state mask mandate as a “step in the wrong direction” and added that he hopes it will lead to an increase in calls to his department.
“In this state, companies have property rights. And so you know, ‘no mask, no service’ means you can’t be in this business,” he said. “So if a person doesn’t want to wear the mask and refuses to wear it and refuses to leave, they are committing what is called a criminal offense.”
“When our state leaders decide to do things on their own, because they can do it better, state leaders say they are always prepared for the worst case scenario,” he said.
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