The Miami-Dade Police Department (MDPD) (formerly known as the Metro-Dade Police Department (1981–1997), Dade County Public Safety Department (1957-1981) and the Dade County Sheriff's Office (1836–1957)) is a full service metropolitan police department serving Miami-Dade County's unincorporated areas, although they have lenient mutual aid agreements with other incorporated municipalities, most often the City of Miami Police Department. The MDPD is the largest police department in the Southeastern United States, with approximately 4,500 employees. The Department is still often referred by its former name, the Metro-Dade Police or simply Metro. Miami-Dade Police officers are easily identified by their taupe/brown colored uniforms. Miami-Dade Police vehicles are identified by their green and white livery. MDPD officers carry silver badges, while officers with the ranks of sergeant and above carry gold badges.
The MDPD operates out of nine district stations throughout Miami-Dade County and several specialized bureaus. The MDPD is internationally accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA), as well as at the state level by the Florida Commission for Law Enforcement Accreditation (CFA). The current director of the department is Robert Parker, who succeeded Carlos Alvarez, the current mayor of Miami-Dade County. The Department's headquarters are located in Doral, Florida.
The Dade County Sheriff's Office was created in 1836 to serve the newly created County of Dade, which originally consisted of the area comprised by the present-day counties of Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach and Martin. In the early years, the entire area was policed by as few as three deputies on horseback, and Dade’s sheriffs were appointed by the Governor. In 1899, the office of the sheriff became an elected position. By 1950, the jurisdiction area had been reduced to its present size of approximately 2,139 square miles.
In 1957, the metropolitan form of government was established, and the Dade County Sheriff's' Office was subsequently renamed the Public Safety Department. The Public Safety Department’s organizational structure, as determined by the Metropolitan Charter, included responsibility for police and fire protection, the jail and stockade, civil defense, animal control, and motor vehicle inspection. In 1960, the Public Safety Department also assumed responsibility for police operations at the Port of Miami and Miami International Airport. By 1966, the Public Safety Department had approximately 850 sworn officers in its ranks. That year a long-standing controversy over the selection/election procedure for choosing a county sheriff was resolved by voter mandate. Subsequently, non-elected sheriffs were appointed by the County Manager as "Director of the Public Safety Department and Sheriff of Metropolitan Dade County."
In 1973, the responsibility for running the County’s jails was transferred to the newly created Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. By that year, the Public Safety Department had also been divested of all other non-police responsibilities in order to concentrate entirely on law enforcement services. In July 1981, the Public Safety Department was renamed the Metro-Dade Police Department. In September 1997, voters decided to change the jurisdiction’s name to Miami-Dade County. In December of the same year, the Metro-Dade Police Department was renamed the Miami-Dade Police Department.
On September 13,2007 four Miami-Dade Police Department officers were shot by a subject with an AK-47, resulting in the death of one officer, Jose Somohano. Another officer suffered a serious leg injury. The suspect, Shawn Sherwin Labeet, fled the scene but was found in an apartment complex later that day. He was cornered in a poolhouse bathroom by members of Miami-Dade Police Special Response Team (equivalent to SWAT), and was shot and killed when he refused to drop a pistol he was holding.
Breakdown of the makeup of the rank and file of MDPD :
- Male: 78%
- Female: 22%
- White: 43%
- Hispanic: 39%
- African-American/Black: 18%
Ranks and Insignia
- Director/Sheriff - 4 gold stars
- Assistant Director/Assistant Sheriff - 3 gold stars
- Division Chief - 2 gold stars
- Major - gold oak leaves
- Bureau Commander - 2 gold bars with diagonal black stripes
- Captain - 2 gold bars
- First Lieutenant - 1 silver bar
- Supervisor - 1 gold bar with diagonal black stripe
- Lieutenant - 1 gold bar
- Master Sergeant - 3 gold metal chevrons over 3 gold metal rockers
- Sergeant - 3 silver chevrons
- Corporal - 2 silver chevrons
- Police Officer - no rank insignia
All rank insignia are worn on the collars of the shirt, except for Sergeant and Corporal, which are worn on each sleeve, below the department patch.
In Popular Culture
Miami-Dade Police is the law enforcement agency depicted in the television shows, films, and video games:
- Miami Vice
- Dexter (represented as the "Miami Metro Police")
- Casino Royale
- CSI: Miami.
- Grand Theft Auto: Vice City (the police wear uniforms and drive police cars similar to those of the Miami-Dade Police.)
- Bad Boys
9105 Northwest 25th Street
Phone: (305) 471-1780
15665 Biscayne Bld.
Phone: (305) 940-9980
Cutler Ridge Station
10800 SW 211th St
Phone: (305) 378-4300
10000 SW 142nd Ave.
Phone: (305) 383-6800
2950 NW 83rd St.
Phone: (305) 836-8601
7707 SW 117th Ave.
Phone: (305) 279-6929
5975 Miami Lakes Drive East
Phone: (305) 698-1500<br
9101 NW 25th St.
Phone: (305) 471-2800
- List of law enforcement agencies in Florida
- List of U.S. state and local law enforcement agencies
- Sheriff (Florida)
- Miami-Dade County, Florida
- Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Department
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- Analysis of Potential Merger of the Miami-Dade Police Department and the Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation (PDF). Miami-Dade County (June 2006) (2006-06-30). Retrieved on 2007-06-16. Cite error: Invalid
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- Law Enforcement Management and Administrative Statistics, 2000: Data for Individual State and Local Agencies with 100 or More Officers