MIAMI (CBSMiami) – CBS4 continues to celebrate Black History Month by recognizing special people in the South Florida community, including the City of Miami Police Department's newest assistant chief whose recent appointment made history in the department.
Overtown Commander Anita M. Najiy, a 31-year veteran of the agency, is the first female Assistant Chief of Police in the department's history.
When Chief Manuel Orosa called with the news, she was stunned.
"He said, 'I'm calling to promote you to Assistant Chief of Administration Division.' At first I was surprised and shocked. I had to sit down," explained Najiy.
Assistant Chief Najiy spent some of her early years in Carol City and her teenage years in the city of Miami, but it was actually in Overtown where she felt she was able to make a real impact.
As the Commander in Overtown, the 31-year veteran prided herself on interacting with residents and just spending time in the community to personally observe what needed improvement.
"What I saw when I got here was the lighting, the street lighting was almost null," Najiy said. "One of the things we were trying to get community members to understand is that we need their help and in order for us to help, we need them to be our eyes and ears. But one of the main things was, if we can't see, we can't help you, so that was a major issue we had to tackle getting the lights back on."
Tackle it they did, Najiy said the number of calls for service in that community started going up almost immediately. She said that was a good thing because crimes were going unreported.
But she worked diligently with community agencies, beat officers and residents who stepped up. One business owner even gave officers access to her personal surveillance system in the neighborhood.
"When she would see crime occurring or drug sales occurring, she would let us know and then we would come out and I would direct the officers to come into the area and we would be able to make arrests," said Najiy.
That is just one of many of her success stories which she plans to continue as she heads up the Administration Division and continues to trail blaze the way for other women on the force.
"I have to represent. One of the things I was always taught was to lead by example," she said.
Prior to her recent promotion, the title of "Major" was considered the highest held by a sworn, female employee of the agency.
Commander Najiy holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice Management and a Masters in National Security Affairs.
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