A veteran Miami officer—Assistant Chief Manny Morales—has been named interim chief as city leaders take steps to terminate Chief Art Acevedo who was hired away from Houston in March.
Morales was also one of several home-grown candidates who made the final list when the city’s lengthy search for a new chief ended in March with the announcement of Acevedo’s hiring. He was believed to be the favorite of some commissioners, who had reached a standoff over the hiring of a new chief with the mayor and city manager, the Miami Herald reports.
Morales spent the past three years in charge of the department’s uniform division and crime prevention teams. He oversaw SWAT, Homeland Security and the bomb squad. He managed the department’s response to the civil disturbances that broke out downtown after the death of George Floyd.
Morales — who has been overseeing 850 patrol officers, or about two-thirds of the city’s sworn cops — was chosen to steady the ship Monday night by City Manager Art Noriega. The appointment was mentioned in a brief statement by the manager when he announced the suspension of Acevedo with the intention of firing him, pending a hearing on the chief’s future before Miami commissioners that is expected later this week.