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Miami Beach Commission Approves New Police Chief

MIAMI BEACH (CBSMiami) --  Miami Beach has a new Chief of Police.

The city commission approved  Daniel J. Oates as the new police chief Wednesday evening.

With a unanimous vote, Oates became the top cop in Miami Beach.

Oates is replacing outgoing chief Ray Martinez, who recently announced he will be running security for Ultra Music Fest.

"There's a lot to be done. I need to learn the city. I need to learn the community to learn the issues and I need the help of the entire community," said Oates.

On Tuesday, Miami Beach residents got a chance to meet Oates at the Morning Breakfast Club gathering.

Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine was the guest speaker at the gathering held at Abuela's Cuban Kitchen on Meridian Avenue where he introduced Oates.  Levine said Oates has the experience, the vision and the proven track record to lead the city's police department into a new era.

"I feel so humbled and honored to have this opportunity to work in this great city," said Oates.

Levine said Oates, most recently Police Chief of Aurora, Colorado, did an outstanding job following the mass shooting inside a movie theater there in 2012.

"He demonstrated incredible leadership qualities. President Obama called him out saying what a leader, what a chief," said Levine.

Oates is not allowed to talk about it.

" You folks in the local media may not be aware but there is a gag order on all law enforcement for all comments in connection with the movie theater. The gag order says that I can't say or do anything that would create pre-trial publicity," said Oates.

Oates has been in town the last couple of days meeting with city commissioners.

Oates also served with the New York Police Department for two decades. Levine believes Oates will overhaul the police department in the wake of several controversies including the wild Memorial Day shootout in 2011 and the infamous drunken officer ATV accident on the beach.

"We want to make sure the residents are treated like customers, the tourists are treated like customers. No one's above the law but we want to have that level of tremendous professionalism," said Levine.

Some residents believe Oates will breathe new life into the department.

"I think it's gonna be very valuable for our city, he has a lot of experience living in New York.  New York is a very particular city just like Miami Beach, especially South Beach, is a very particular city," said Valerie Navarrette.  "It's a plus, it's a big plus for us."





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