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Preview: Miami Gardens Police Department

Miami Gardens Police Department

This blog gives the cyber community an opportunty to get an insight into the creation of a new police department in the City of Miami Gardens, Florida.

Updated: 2018-03-06T00:19:56.782-05:00


2 Cities Avoid State-Mandated Tax Cuts (Miami Herald


Posted from the Miami HeraldSaturday, June 23, 2007 NORTH DADE2 cities avoid state-mandated tax cutsOpa-Locka and Miami Gardens' governments are rejoicing after being saved from state-mandated tax cuts.BY ROBERT The state's big tax reform package, a sweeping plan to stiffen spending in local governments, will have a relatively small impact in Opa-Locka and Miami Gardens. The two were shielded from slashing their budgets after qualifying under two special exemptions.Miami Gardens, the third-largest city in Miami-Dade, was exempted entirely from the mandated property tax cuts, calculated through a complicated formula based on five years of financial performance. The Legislature concluded that the four-year-old city was too young to face big cuts.''I'm ecstatic at the decision,'' said Mayor Shirley Gibson, who led the city's council trip to Tallahassee in April to ask for special consideration. ``We have started a lot of great programs and didn't want to have to cut back on them.'' Meanwhile, Opa-Locka was told to cut its taxes three percent, three times less than most municipalities and the smallest cut in the Miami-Dade County.The Legislature concluded the city was not financially stable enough to endure a cut, particularly since the city is recovering from a recent financial emergency. ''The state's consideration is really much appreciated,'' said Vice Mayor Dorothy ''Dottie'' Johnson. ``We've lost so many years of progress in this city in the past, and it's a blessing that we're not forced to lose any more.''Property tax reform was the major subject of this year's legislative session, with representatives from both parties scrambling to create tax solutions after Gov. Charlie Crist declared that Floridians needed smaller financial burdens. As the Legislature debated, city governments shivered while awaiting a decision.Kelley asked the city commission to consider holding off major projects until a decision was made. Miami Gardens City Manager Danny Crew warned his boss that the reform was the ``most serious thing he's seen in his 35 years.'' They warned of park closings, decreased sanitation services and staff reductions.Betty Webb, a retired nurse in Miami Gardens, said she understood those concerns but still would have liked some form of property tax cut. ''I paid $8,000 in homeowners insurance and even more in property taxes,'' said Webb, who owns a five-bedroom home. ``I could use some relief. We all could.''In this sense, Webb is envious of residents in Opa-Locka, who will see their property taxes return to 2006 levels. Residents there are subject to the highest millage rate, which last year was $9.80 for every $1,000 of taxable property. The entire debate reminded Kelley that the city needs to watch its wallet and search for as many grant and relief opportunities for residents as possible. ''This cut is not going to be as devastating,'' Kelley said. ``But it's still a cut.''And more cuts might be coming after the January election.If 60 percent of voters approve it, homeowners will get to choose one of two options: keep their current tax scheme, which stops taxes from rising more than three percent each year under the Save Our Homes act. Or pay $50,000 worth of property taxes for the first $200,000 of their home value, and 15 percent of the next $300,000 worth.Said Crew: ``It's not over yet.'' [...]

Application deadline May 31st, 2007


It has been said that "Time and tide wait for no man."

For those of you who are calling and saying “I am really interested in being a part of your department.” It’s nice to hear this, but I suggest you get on the ball and submit your completed application, along with the required documents as soon as possible.

If you have not submitted your application for employment for the Certified Police Officer Position (the only sworn position we are currently recruiting for) you may do so up to May 31st, 2007. After this date, your application will not be accepted.

We are moving right along with the formulation of our police department and are pleased with the response to our recruitment drive. Rain or shine, we will assume policing responsibility on Saturday, December 1st, 2007.

I applaud the individuals who have acted quickly to compete for positions within our department.

Wishing you well in the process,

Major Alfred Lewers Jr.
Support Services Bureau Commander

Official word... What’s happening with the MGPD


I haven't had a chance to post here for a while as I and the other staff members of the Miami Gardens Police Department have been busy putting together our police department.All of our unmarked vehicles have been received, and outfitted with covert lights and sirens. Our marked cars have started arriving and are being outfitted with lights, sirens, computer mounts, and other equipment. We have identified OSSI as our RMS, CAD, and Report Writing software. We have located a building to be remodeled for our headquarters. We have ordered our firearms (Glock 40 cal) and other exciting accomplishments. This a brief list of accomplishments necessary to make the department a go by December 1st, 2007.It seems like quite a few people are interested in what’s going on with our department, as the MGPD post appears to have the highest number of views and posts on the web site.As far as the sergeants’ selection process goes, we have extended conditional job offers and expect to identify 11 additional sergeants to hire within the next two weeks. We are no longer accepting applications for the Sergeants’ position though some people have submitted applications and will be granted interviews.On the subject of police officer interviews we have contacted candidates and have given them a two week deadline to confirm their participation. We will continue to gradually contact applicants to prevent an onslaught of calls into H.R. We are on schedule with the posted timeline on our web site as well as the information that was mailed to candidates who previously submitted applications.It should be noted that not every applicant will receive an interview. Candidates who have a history of discipline or termination from their agencies, or have worked for several police agencies over a few years or have resigned from their department while under investigation; these individuals should not expect to be given an interview.We are a highly desirable agency to work for and will always select only the best employees to be a part of our department.I see quite a bit of information on this post that speaks about the quality of life in the City of Miami Gardens, as well as how dangerous it is. It sounds like some people are scared to work in a City which poses a policing challenge.I can say that the quality of life in the City of Miami Gardens is on the rise everyday, this includes beautification of our city entryways and swales, planned updates to our parks and community centers, community redevelopment, and other accomplishments. We are a new city having been incorporated in 2003, and are proud of our progress. Our Police Department will be another part of that growth and improvement process.I am of the frame of mind that law enforcement officers should welcome the opportunity to bring calm from chaos, though we are not a chaotic metropolis. If you want to go someplace where the work has been done, there are some great bedroom communities all over the country that would welcome you as an applicant. As for the Miami Gardens Police Department, we want officers who are committed to problem solving policing and good old fashioned police work.To help give interested candidates an accurate picture of the crime and arrest trends in our city, please visit the updated “About Miami Gardens Section” of our web site.We have recently updated the MGPD web site with crime and arrest statistics. Please access this link for more information.Additionally I have posted some helpful information in the “Out of Town Applicants” section of our web site for people who wish to find additional information on South Florida. . You may use this link to find more information on cost of living, the visitors and conventions bureaus, Sun-Sentinel and Miami Herald web sites, airport, hotel, and rental car informationCandidates will be asked to travel to Miami Gardens for their initial interview, which will be used to establish a list of eligibil[...]

More negatives than an upside down battery.


By Major Alfred Lewers Jr.To the forum posters.First off, don’t let the demographics of the City of Miami Gardens convince you that it can not support, or does not deserve its own police department of positive distinction. This is in no way an attempt to cast disparaging words or innuendo against the fine men and women of the Miami Dade Police Department who currently commit themselves to the City of Miami Gardens.You, along with every law enforcement officer in the State, should be proud to see a municipality offer a fair and equitable salary, along with an outstanding benefits and salary package. I suggest you take it to your collective bargaining unit and ask them to use it as a blueprint for future benefits for you and your friends. As far as the number of officers hired by the MGPD in comparison to Miami Dade Police Department:You are right; the initial complement of officers will be just shy of what MDPD has assigned to Miami Gardens. This will change, with the addition of 30 officers within 3 years. Your question about specialized services:Currently the City of Miami Gardens pays about $7 million to Miami-Dade County for administrative fees and specialized units. We just happen to be the only city in Miami-Dade County who has to pay this high amount. This is in addition to approximately $19 million for general police services. When you do the math, you’ll see that the City of Miami Gardens already pays approximately $26 million for police services. This is more than enough to pay for its own police department. Your statement about being able to maintain the great salaries shows that you are able to identify some good in what is happening in our city:The City of Miami Gardens will be able to maintain its officer’s salaries just like your current agency maintains your great salary, through municipal taxes, which are paid into the general fund, along with other revenue generating means. By the way Dolphin stadium is in the City of Miami Gardens and they pay taxes, along with Calder Race Track, the businesses along 826, 441, property owners within the corporate limits of our city.You do not have to have high taxes to sustain a city, as I live in the City of Coconut Creek and my City’s millage rate is currently slightly higher than the City of Miami Gardens. Very few cities in South Florida are experiencing financial difficulties as a result of consistent growth in property values. The City of Miami Gardens is no different. On the vehicles:The average lifespan for personally assigned cars is 5 to 6 years, not the 2 to 4 that you quoted. And the maintenance is a regular budgeted function of government, which we will sustain.I could go on and on responding to your negative opinion and conjecture, but I really don’t have to, as you are probably not an applicant and judging by your attitude, you wouldn’t be happy in our City. The bottom line is that the City of Miami Gardens is now in control of its destiny, and you, like others, can not get past your personal bias and unconstructive statements. We do not think, for a second, that this venture will be easy. But we are willing to take on the challenge associated with our mission of creating a new Miami Gardens Police Department and will be successful. Consider adjusting your attitude and give us a chance to succeed or fail on our own without your preconceived notions of what we will or will not become. Other agencies have their legacies and reputation; please allow us to create our own.Whether you do or don’t change your mind, I wish you well, and hope that if someone doubts your ability to accomplish a task you will be given the opportunity and benefit of the doubt. Something you have not been willing to extend to the City of Miami Gardens Police Department.Thank you,[...]

Rumor Control


By Alfred Lewers Jr. I have had the pleasure of being in law enforcement for over twenty years and it never ceases to amaze me how police officers tend to spread rumors worse than most school girls. I hesitate to use such an analogy, as I am the father of two school aged girls who don’t further nearly as many rumors as I have heard passed along by officers.Let me use this blog entry to respond to some of the rumors that I have read in some police forums or have been confronted with in emails, and phone calls.RUMOR HAS ITThe Miami Gardens Police Department’s formulation is being funded by a four year federal grant and once the grant is over, financial problems are sure to follow. This is not accurate.There is no federal, state, local or non-profit grant being used to make possible the Miami Gardens Police Department. All of our 150 positions are being funded by the City of Miami Gardens’ general fund. Though we, like many law enforcement agencies, do intend to take advantage of as many grants as possible to enhance our crime fighting and service capabilities.RUMOR HAS ITThere is no need to apply for positions at the Miami Gardens Police Department, as they are all filled or guaranteed to others. This is not accurate.Currently there are 23 Sergeants and 123 Officers positions that have yet to be filled at the Miami Gardens Police Department. Qualified candidates interested in the Sergeants positions should submit your applications by March, 2007, as the first round of oral interviews are scheduled for the month of March. We intend to hire 12 of our 23 sergeants by June 4th, 2007, with the others being fazed in by October 1, 2007.Police Officers should submit their applications as soon as possible, as the initial shift bid and days off preference will be granted based on the submission date of your applications. So do not procrastinate, submit your application NOW!!! Oral interviews for officers start in June, though dates for interviews are being conveyed to applicants weeks in advance.The Detectives’ assignments will be filled by qualified officers who are hired into our department. There are no guaranteed assignments promised to any candidates, and all qualified candidates are able to participate in a fair and equitable testing and hiring process.RUMOR HAS ITThe Miami Gardens Police Department is only hiring state of Florida certified officers at first. This is not accurate.Our process is open to ALL out of state officers whose training and experience meet the standards of the Florida Department of Law enforcement. Out of state officers must have at least one (1) year of full time paid police experience (police academy, training and FTO time does not count). Out of state officers who meet these standards may apply for the certified police officer position.The one (1) year experience requirement does not apply to Florida Certified officers.RUMOR HAS ITOut of state candidates will have to take the 80 hour comparative compliance course and the State Exam before they can start working. This is not accurate.In order to become a certified officer in Florida, you will need to demonstrate proficiency in the high liability areas and pass the state certification exam discipline within 1 year of employment and submission of the Equivalency of Training Form (CJSTC-76).RUMOR HAS ITThe City of Miami Gardens has one of the highest tax rates in south Florida, and they are not a financially secure city. This is not accurate.The City of Miami Gardens currently pays over $30 million for its current level of police services from Miami-Dade County and is more than able to fund and operate its own police force. The City of Miami Gardens’ tax rate is NOT one of the highest in Miami-Dade County as stated, though it has recently been raised to 5.14 from 3.63. To give you an accurate comparison of other cities in Miami-Dade County, the City of Miami's millage (tax) rate is 8.37, Opa Locka's is 9.80, Homestead's is 6.25, Miami Sh[...]

New Police Chief set to combat crime


Posted on Sun, Jan. 21, 2007MIAMI GARDENSNew police chief set to combat crimeMatthew Boyd must define the role of police chief for his community and himself.BY ROBERT SAMUELSrsamuels@MiamiHerald.comBefore he vowed to fight crime in Miami Gardens, soon-to-be police Chief Matthew Boyd slouched in front of a TV camera. The news channel's photographer was about a head shorter than the 6-foot, 4-inch Boyd, who spent much of the evening answering questions. Questions about crime, money and just, you know how everything feels.The camera's lights flashed off. Boyd cut his eyes to Renee Farmer, the assistant city manager and his new supervisor.''You're doing great!'' she said, sticking her thumbs up.He smiled back. Then he slouched again. Another TV reporter had questions. About crime, money and, you know, just how it all feels.This is the life of a new police chief. A barrage of questions. A stream of support. Fighting a little nervousness.Last Tuesday, Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Alvarez gave Boyd a vote of confidence and swore him in at Florida Memorial University. Boyd, in his first official act, swore in five other men of his command staff.It's a new title for Boyd, but not that new of a job. As a major with the county police department, he already supervised the district covering this 3 ½ year-old city. He was responsible for 144 sworn officers and about 20 civilian employees.When the city takes over policing duties from the county this December, Boyd's staff will be only a tad bigger -- 150 sworn officers and about 25 civilian employees.What changes, Boyd said, is that new, heavy, imaginary weight a leader has on his shoulders. No longer with the county's backing, he is more responsible for results in an area becoming increasingly violent.He also has to prove his worth to residents, who swallowed a 41 percent property tax increase to cover his big salary and that of his incoming staff.''Now, I have to be more mindful about the decisions that I make,'' Boyd said. ``And that's about it.''When he speaks about the future, Boyd's voice is cautious and precise. It peps when he channels his past.''I was an actual street cop who was always on the ground,'' Boyd said. ``And even now I still go out on the road. You don't run into this type of action that often when you're in management, but I'll respond to the calls and assist the officers in taking subjects down.''Still Boyd said he was set to slow down and retire in two years. He'd been with Miami-Dade police since 1982. The Discovery Channel even filmed him tracking down prostitutes for one of their television shows.He was transferred in 2005 to be the major of the county's Miami Gardens Police District, where one of his mentors, Aaron Campbell, was a councilman.''I was quite pleased when I heard he was transferred,'' said Campbell, who appreciates Boyd's results-oriented approach. ``He made a significant difference in the way policing was done in the city.''Boyd was on track to hang up his police uniform when City Manager Danny Crew invited him to be their first police chief.Crew told Boyd he was assembling an incentives package that would turn heads across the nation. Boyd would get the opportunity to hire top-quality police officers and build a department from the ground up.It was then Boyd decided to end his career at the county police. Last week, he donned a a Miami Gardens uniform instead.At the ceremony, Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernández Rundle praised the chief's work ethic. But she looked at his command staff and noticed something disturbing.''I know the next step is you're going to have lots of women to join you on the stage, right?'' Fernandez Rundle said. The crowd applauded.In his speech, Boyd acknowledged his lone female hire, Marilyn Gonzalez, who will handle the department's training. Her position made her a part of the non-sworn staff.Boyd later said the comments about the lack of women on the command staff ``ca[...]

First police staff will be sworn in


Posted on Sun, Jan. 14, 2007 Obtained from the Miami Herald websiteMIAMI GARDENSMiami Gardens is preparing to swear in the command staff for its first police department at a ceremony scheduled for Tuesday at Florida Memorial College.BY ROBERT The city of Miami Gardens will swear in the command staff for its first police department on Tuesday in a ceremony that is garnering interest from law enforcement officials across South Florida.They are taking notice because the city is charting some success in filling 150 vacancies at a time when established police departments nationwide are struggling to fill empty spots.Many credit the city's lavish incentives package, which police unions say they love and other municipalities say makes them worried.The police department won't take over until December. Logistics with the county still need to be worked out. But pinning the badge on Chief Matthew Boyd and his four command staff is a major symbol, said Mayor Shirley Gibson, a former police officer herself.She said the department is critical to Miami Gardens' evolution as an independent municipality. It is also a key factor in curbing a spike in area violence. ''This is the No. 1 priority for the New Year,'' Gibson said in an interview.In October, the city unveiled its incentive package. The starting salaries -- at least $45,100 for an officer with no experience -- will most likely place the city in the top 10 percent of highest-paid police departments in Florida. There also is a chance at a free college education and a $12,000 signing bonus.Danny Crew, the city manager, said drafting the incentives package was simple: ''I looked at what other places were offering,'' said Crew, who drafted the package. ``And then I topped it.'' It's a strategy that new cities coast to coast employ. And, so far, Crew said, it's been successful.The city has received 105 applications for seven captain positions, according to Renee Farmer, assistant city manager. In the two weeks, the city received more than 80 completed applications for officers or sergeants. City Hall has more than 1,000 people showing interest in the jobs.''I've been surprised at the caliber of applicants and the willingness to want to join us building a police department,'' Farmer said in an interview. ``We're hearing that they want to help put a mark on something new and it's a more important factor than the money.''Farmer said the city is on track to getting the best and the brightest. Residents at City Council meetings have raised concerns about making sure the staff is diverse in a city where four of five residents are black. Demographic information for applicants has not yet been compiled, Farmer said. But four of the five sworn staff and two additional hires are black or Hispanic. One is a woman.''So far, a good number of the captain applicants are women,'' Farmer said. ``And we're working hard to show that we want female officers here. In our advertisements, the officer is a woman.''Attracting applicants has been the easier part, Farmer said. A host of administrative tasks between Miami Gardens and Miami-Dade County still needs to be done. The city was required to enter into a three-year service contract with the county force as part of the agreement that allowed it to incorporate.Ideally, new officers could go on ride-alongs with the old guard. Files needed to be transferred. And the city is still unsure whether it will have to pay for the Carol City District building at Northwest 188th Street and 27th Avenue. It is taking out an $8.5 million loan, just in case.''The hardest part has been nailing points down with Miami-Dade County,'' Farmer said. ``We've seen a willingness from them to work with us. It's just that our timetable is very aggressive -- and we'd like to see their rate be as aggressive as ours.''Miami Gardens has spent more than $300,000 on advertising. Not all the respo[...]

Applications Being Accepted for Certified Police Officer and Sergeants Positions


By Major Alfred Lewers Jr.

Posted January 1, 2007

The City of Miami Gardens Police Department is now accepting applications for Certified Police Officer and Sergeants' Positions. The application process for these positions is open continuously until all available positions are filled, though sergeants’ candidates will be selected by June 2007. As a result, these candidates are encouraged to submit applications as soon as possible. The selection process for Police Officers is expected to begin in June 2007, though oral interview dates are expected to be assigned earlier in the year.

The timeline for processing applicants is as follows; the Sergeant’s applicants will be granted oral interviews beginning in March, 2007, with an anticipated hire date of June 2007 for 12 of the 23 supervisor’s positions, with the remaining supervisors being hired by October 1, 2007. Police Officer applicants will be process beginning in June 2007, with a hire date of October 1, 2007.

This information should give ample time for selected candidates to make the necessary notifications to their current employers and for out of town lateral officers to make any required moves associated with relocation to the South Florida community.

Due to the number of inquiries that have been received, we encourage candidates to obtain applications and additional information from the Miami Gardens Police Department web site , or the City of Miami Gardens web site . They may also be picked up at the City of Miami Gardens Human Resources Department located at 1515 NW 167th Street, Building 5, Suite 200, Miami Gardens, FL 33169. The Human Resources Department’s hours of operation are 8:00 am to 5:00 pm Monday through Friday. For additional information please email .

Applications and the required documents must be mailed, delivered in person or via courier to the Human Resources Department. Do not fax or email the required documents or applications. Applications without the required documents will not be processed.

The City is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of age, citizenship status, color, disability, marital status, national origin, race, religion, or sex. The City of Miami Gardens mandates a Drug and Alcohol-Free Workplace.

The City offers Veteran’s preference per Florida law. Preference will be given to certain veterans, spouses of veterans, or un-remarried widows of veterans. Proof of veterans’ eligibility must be provided at time of application.

Exciting Changes Made to the Miami Gardens Police Department Web Site


By Major Alfred Lewers Jr.

Posted January 1, 2007

“Wow!” That is the only response I could think of as I viewed the December stats for the Miami Gardens Police Department’s web site. There were over 70,000 web hits on the web site during the month of December, compared to 18,518 for the month of November.

This shows that the word is out; the Miami Gardens Police Department is fast becoming the most talked about and sought after career choice in the local law enforcement community. This poses a unique challenge to appropriately respond to the vast number of telephone calls and web inquiries that we have received from potential candidates.

To assist in this endeavor, we have made a few exciting changes to our web site which will provide opportunities for potential candidates to obtain valuable information 24 hours a day, without having to contact the MGPD or wait for a return telephone call.

We have added the ability to download several documents including the position announcements for Certified Police Officer and Sergeants, along with applications, veterans’ preference forms and the required documents checklist.

We hope these helpful changes make the application process more organized and accommodating to our applicants. For additional information you may visit our web site at or email .

Criminal Investigations Bureau / Detectives Assignments


Saturday, December 23, 2006By Major Paul MillerMajor Paul Miller is the Commander of the Criminal Investigations Bureau and was previously employed with the Miami-Dade Police Department for 19 ½ years. During his tenure, he held various positions and assignments, including assignments in Homicide, General Investigations, Auto Theft, Narcotics, Public Corruption, and the Crime Suppression Team. The Criminal Investigations Bureau (CIB) within the Miami Gardens Police Department will be responsible for criminal cases involving burglaries (residential and commercial), thefts, assaults and frauds. In addition, detectives will be assigned to investigate specific crimes such as Domestic Violence, Auto Theft and Narcotics Investigations. During the early transition period, the Miami-Dade Police Department will continue to investigate homicides, sexual batteries and robberies for the City of Miami Gardens. The Bureau’s formal structure, including schedules, the exact number of detectives and supervisors assigned, has yet to be established. This manpower allocation and scheduling will be based upon the needs of our community and that of the department.It is important for applicants to understand that the Miami Gardens Police Department will first hire individuals into positions as officers and sergeants. A limited number of these individuals will then be assigned to the Criminal Investigations Bureau as detectives.Assignment to the Criminal Investigations Bureau will be based on the background, past experience, specialty, and oral board performance of candidates. This detective assignment is not a permanent position and may be changed at any time as the agency sees fit.Candidates for the officer positions will be asked the same oral board questions, however, those having shown an interest in an investigations assignment may be asked to return for a follow-up interview prior to selection to the Unit. Supervisors selected for assignment to the Criminal Investigations Bureau must meet the minimum requirements for past supervision on the employment posting. If you are interested in a position in the CIB please write investigations in parentheses next to the position you are applying for on your application. Our initial objective will be to fill the detective’s assignment with individuals who possess at least three or more years of investigative experience, though this may be adjusted based upon the candidate pool and the experience level of the applicants. The Miami Gardens Police Department’s commitment to community policing will be seamless throughout the agency and will be exhibited by personnel assigned to the CIB. Detectives will be assigned to specific areas within the City and will be expected to be familiar with all crime trends occurring in their area as well as the adjacent areas. Our Detectives will be required to regularly communicate pertinent information on preventative measures, crime trends and statistics to residents, business owners, and school administrators. This dissemination of information will extend to Department members and neighboring law enforcement agencies; in the form of BOLOS and information sharing.We hope that this course of action assists us in developing a reputation as an agency dedicated to creating a solid partnership with the society we serve, as well as showing our commitment to cooperation with neighboring law enforcement agencies.I hope this posting addresses some of the questions that potential applicants may have. If you have additional questions please feel free to email me at Again, thank you for the interest you have shown in the Miami Gardens Police Department.Stay tuned for updated information on the Criminal Investigations Unit. [...]

Command Staff Swearing-In Ceremony


PRESS RELEASEContact: Ula ZuckerEvents and Media CoordinatorTel: 305-622-8035Cell: 786-253-8408uzucker@miamigardens-fl.govFor Immediate ReleaseMiami-DaDe County Mayor Carlos Alvarez to Swear-In police chief and command staff of New Miami Gardens Police Department (MGPD)Miami Gardens, Fl, December 18, 2006 -The command staff for the newly established Miami Gardens Police Department (MGPD) will officially be sworn in on January 16th, 2007 at 6:00 p.m. at Florida Memorial University’s Lou Rawls Performing Arts Theatre, 15800 NW 42nd Avenue, Miami Gardens. Newly appointed Police Chief Matthew Boyd, former police major with the Miami-Dade Police Department (MDPD), and Deputy Police Chief John Feltgen, former Assistant Director for the Broward Sheriff’s Office, will be sworn in to lead the agency. Other command staff personnel who will be sworn in include: Major Chester “Chet” Butler, Operations Commander, former MDPD Major; Major Alfred Lewers, Jr., Support Services Commander, former Lieutenant with the Fort Lauderdale Police Department; Major Paul Miller, Investigations Commander, former Lieutenant with MDPD; and Captain Steve List, Professional Compliance, former Public Safety Director/Chief of Police with the City of Parkland.Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Alvarez and Miami-Dade State Attorney, Kathy Fernandez Rundle will officiate at the ceremony. They will join other local elected officials in swearing-in the command staff that brings to the City over 145 years of professional law enforcement experience.“It is a great honor to be selected to lead this group of experienced law enforcement personnel in developing a top ranked, professional agency,” said Chief Boyd. “We look forward to meeting the high expectations of the community.”The ceremony will also serve as the official kick-off of the MGPD. In September 2006, the Miami Gardens City Council officially approved the creation of its own, independent municipal police department, which is expected to have 150 police officers and 24 administrative civilian personnel. With the command staff now in position, the City will begin active recruitment for officers, detectives, sergeants and captains in January 2007 and expects to complete all its hires and assume full police patrol services in December 2007. The City Council has already approved an incentive package and salary schedule that is expected to attract qualified, experienced, community oriented professionals that offer the resources and expertise it will take to create a first class Miami Gardens Police Department.Information regarding the application process, hiring incentives, timetable for recruitment and information sessions, is available at , or by contacting Major Alfred Lewers Jr. 305 622-8000 x 2372 or email: City of Miami Gardens was incorporated on May 13, 2003, and at a population of 107,569 is the third largest city in Miami-Dade County.For more interviews regarding the Miami Gardens Police Department, or information about the City of Miami Gardens or other media and events-related information, please contact Ula Zucker, events and media coordinator, (305) 622-8035 or email: of Miami Gardens1515 NW 167th Street, Suite 200Miami Gardens, FL 33169Tel: 305-622-8035Fax: 305-622-8001uzucker@miamigardens-fl.gov [...]

Captain's Positions Status


December 10, 2006

We are pleased to say that more than 90 applications were received for the Captain’s positions. The screening process has reduced this number to 42 individuals who will be allowed to compete for the 7 remaining Captain’s positions.

The interview process for these applicants will begin during the second week of January. The Human Resources Department will notify all applicants of their status.

Command Staff of the Miami Gardens Police Department


December 10, 2006
The command staff of the Miami Gardens Police Department consists of Police Chief Matthew Boyd, former police major with the Miami-Dade Police Department (MDPD), Miami Gardens District: Deputy Police Chief John W. Feltgen, former assistant director for the Broward Sheriff’s Office Department of Fire Rescue and Emergency Services, Major Chester “Chet” Butler, Operations Commander, former retired operations commander (MDPD), Major Paul Miller, Investigations Commander, a former lieutenant with MDPD’s Homicide Unit and Major Alfred Lewers, Jr., a former lieutenant in the Administrative Support Division of the Fort Lauderdale Police Department.

In Response To Postings on web site


All of the questions that are being asked about the Miami Gardens Police Department are good ones and anyone who is looking to transfer to another agency should ask these questions and more. Though some of the responses to the questions are inaccurate, though I have to give credit to FLPD698, he has been sharing quite a bit of accurate information. I would like give you some input from a position of knowledge.

As far as the City of Miami Gardens and their tax rate is concerned, it is NOT one of the highest in Miami-Dade County as stated, though it has recently been raised to 5.14 from 3.63. To give you an accurate comparison, the City of Miami's millage (tax) rate is 8.37, Opa Locka's is 9.80, Homestead's is 6.25, Miami Shores is 8.25 and Avenutura's is 2.27. Don't take my word for it; if you would like more information on the tax rates of other Miami Dade County Cities access this link .

The City of Miami Gardens has put together one of, if not the best benefits, salary and incentives packages that I have ever seen in the State of Florida. This was done with one thing in mind, and that was to attract and RETAIN the very best police officers to the City.

Many of the postings aren't very flattering about the city, but from what I have experienced, the City Manager, his staff, the City Council and citizens I have come in contact with have done nothing but shown me respect and impressed me. I have sat in on countless other City Commission meetings and have never been as impressed with others as I have been with the Miami Gardens City Council. They are the most cohesive group of professional elected officials I have ever met. Coming from a major city "Fort Lauderdale", this says something.

This City Council are the people who agreed to the benefits and salary package for the "Pioneer Officers", before they ever met them. Keep in mind, this benefits package was put together without a bargaining unit. I don’t think the council wants to have a police force that can be controlled; I think they have a genuine interest in having their own force of officers who will be committed to their citizens. They want to have the best police force in the State of Florida and are willing to pay their officers accordingly.

For some of the people who write the, not so nice comments about the City of Miami Gardens, everyone should understand that the City of Miami Gardens was a part of the unincorporated area of Miami-Dade County that was predominantly black and was not treated as fairly as it should have been by elected and government officials, before they were a city. This has changed; since they became their own city in 2003; the redevelopment in the City of Miami Gardens is the third greatest amount of any city in the county. There certainly is room for improvement in the City and it is being made.

I believe that the City of Miami Gardens’ Police Department is destined to be the best led, managed, supported and compensated department in the State of Florida. But what do I know; I am leaving the largest municipal police agency in Broward County to be a part of it. email web site

Miami Gardens using attractive incentives to recruit officers


Posted on Sun, Nov. 12, 2006MIAMI GARDENSMiami Gardens using attractive incentives to recruit officersTHE CITY UNVEILED AN ATTRACTIVE SALARY PACKAGE DESIGNED TO LURE APPLICANTS FOR ITS COMING POLICE DEPARTMENTBY ROBERT SAMUELSrsamuels@MiamiHerald.comDevoting big bucks for benefits and bonuses, the city of Miami Gardens unveiled an incentive package that is intended to create one of the highest-paid, most educated police forces in Florida.A Miami Gardens officer with a high school education and no experience in police work will make about $45,000 a year to start. That salary, effective December 2007, will most likely place the city's police department in the top 10 percent in the state.Salary raises will be based on education and experience. For example, a college-educated officer with five years' experience will earn $61,000. That's higher than what some sergeants are paid in Fort Lauderdale, according to 2005 statistics.Law enforcement agents around South Florida are talking about the incentives package, as it shows a new approach in an increasingly competitive world of police recruiting.Many of the nation's largest, most established departments -- Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami-Dade -- can't fill all their spots. And as these forces scrounge to find qualified officers, this 3-year-old city of 105,000 must devise a way to fill 150.''Miami Gardens is definitely causing a buzz around here,'' said Dick Brickman, president of the Broward County Police Benevolent Association. ``What they're doing is innovative and different and it will bring in certified officers.''It's not just the pay that's attractive. There's also a $12,000 signing bonus. And possible free college education. And an extra $2,000 annually that Miami Gardens pledges to pay if the officer lives within city limits.Currently, the county provides police services for Miami Gardens under the terms of incorporation. The city plans to take over after the contract ends in December 2007.Curbing crime remains one of the city's top priorities. Maj. Matthew Boyd of the Miami-Dade police department, who is commander of the Carol City station, reported that auto thefts and commercial burglaries dropped more than 20 percent this year but homicides have increased 27 percent.Residents were hit with a 41 percent property tax increase for the new fiscal year to help finance the $4.4 million cost of creating the new department.Lucy Stanley, who lives in Cloverleaf, said she is hesitantly hopeful having a local presence will stop violence and improve citizens' relationships with the police.Under the current arrangement, she said, cops don't respond to calls quickly enough. They don't have as personal relationships with the children as she would like.''I'd like to see them get to know people,'' Stanley said of the upcoming department. ``I hope with our help they'd get to know people.''The city's goal is to court quality, local potential recruits with a passion for the community, said City Manager Danny Crew. He looks to Boyd, who has been tapped to head the force, as an example. The city has also hired a deputy chief and three commanders. Crew said he hopes other officers nearby follow.Given the crunch for police officers, hostility toward Miami Gardens from other departments might occur.''Are we going to have some enemies? Oh, yes,'' Boyd said at a recent City Council meeting. He said Miami Gardens was going to upset people ``and that's saying it lightly.''Boyd later added that Miami Gardens is giving the embryonic police department much-deserved importance.People are OK with paying athletes millions to move from one city to another. They should be willing to do the same for those who are trained to [...]

Creation Of A New Police Department


Why I Chose The Miami Gardens Police Department?
This is a good question. When the opportunity to assist with building this agency came up, I was not searching for a career change and had little knowledge about the City of Miami Gardens. I was comfortable as a Lieutenant with the Fort Lauderdale Police Department and felt that I would retire with the agency. This was soon to change after speaking with officials of the City.
I decided to check into the City, its form of government, their solvency as well as the people that I would soon be working for. This quest for information began at my computer (the internet is a great thing) with an in-depth perusal of the proposed budget for the yet-to-be formed police department, as well as the available information on the City’s history and their initial struggles. I found that the City of Miami Gardens was three years old and had recently been incorporated in 2003. I also discovered that there was, what I later felt, a reasonable budget proposed to form their own police department. For information on the City of Miami Gardens visit .
From there my wife and I decided to take a tour of the city and to speak with a few residents. This tour of the city gave me a good feeling about the residents of Miami Gardens. The people that we spoke to seemed excited about having their own police department. The reoccurring message that I received was a sense of pride in the city along with a desire to have officers responding to their needs who were committed to the City, as opposed to a rotating group of officers who weren’t tied to the community.
I started to see this as a challenging opportunity to help build the newest police department in the State of Florida.
More entries later... In the meantime please visit the Miami Gardens Police Department web site at

When will you post more informaiton


I have a question, when will you start to accept applications for police officers for this agency?