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Miami Beach Police Chief Retiring

MIAMI BEACH (CBSMiami) - After two years as Miami Beach's police chief, Raymond Martinez has announced he plans to retire next month.

"We are indebted to Chief Martinez for his 12 ½ years of dedicated law enforcement service," said Miami Beach City Manager Jimmy L. Morales in a statement. "He epitomizes the phrase 'an officer and a gentleman' and I have personally enjoyed working with him during this past year."

Martinez has agreed to stay on beyond April 4, if necessary, to make the transition to the new police chief.

"During these past two years we, as an organization, have been able to 'turn the ship around' and set on a course of professionalism, accountability and transparency. Our efforts have had incredible results in a very short time," stated Martinez in his letter to the city manager.

Martinez served more than two decades with the Miami Police Department before he left and went to Miami Beach police where he served as assistant chief overseeing the administration bureau.

Martinez replace Carlos Noriega, whose tenure as police chief was marred by several scandals. In July 2011, an on-duty city officer who had allegedly been drinking at the Clevelander hotel took a woman on a ride on a police ATV and ran over two people on the beach.

Police also took criticism for the high-profile police-involved shooting over a Memorial Day weekend where officers fired more than 100 rounds at a man who was driving erratically. Several innocent bystanders were hit.

Miami Beach City Manager has asked the Police Executive Research Forum, which is currently conducting the audit of the police department, to assist in identifying regional and national candidates for the police chief position.

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