J.D. Patterson, a 30-year veteran officer who worked his way up the ranks from street cop to acting director, was appointed today by County Mayor Carlo Gimenez to lead the Miami-Dade Police Department, the Miami Herald reports. Patterson, 52, has been acting director since August, when Jim Loftus unexpectedly retired.
Patterson said tackling crime and a lack of resources are his biggest priorities. He called the appointment “humbling” and said he was running “one of the finest departments in the nation.” A licensed minister at Mount Sinai Baptist Church, Patterson said if he can resolve conflict in a nonviolent way, that’s his preferred option. “When I play basketball I start talking trash like I’m in the NBA, but after the game is over, it’s over. So put down the guns. This is not a war zone, it’s a city,” he said. “Our community needs to have an honest dialogue about violence.”