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Pembroke Park police Chief David Howard speaks after abrupt firing: 'They terminated me for no cause'

Fired Pembroke Park police Chief David Howard said all he has left is his integrity
Fired Pembroke Park police Chief David Howard said all he has left is his integrity 02:43
David Howard
Pembroke Park Police Chief David Howard was abruptly dismissed from his job on May 10, 2023 by the city commission. CBS News Miami

MIAMI - Sparks flew at a Pembroke Park commission meeting on Wednesday after Police Chief David Howard was fired.

This came after the town manager recommended his removal. His abrupt termination came less than one year after the startup police department was launched. An interim chief will be appointed to the position until a permanent replacement can be found.  

Town Manager JC Jimenez started off the conversation saying that in order for the department to be successful it needs to go forward without Howard. The reason for Howard's removal was not discussed at the meeting.

It seemed as if all parties were on board with the decision other than Commissioner Geoffrey Jacobs who opposed Howard's removal. He got into a heated exchange with Mayor Ashira Mohammed. It ended with the mayor slamming his gavel and cutting off his microphone.

"As a commissioner, it is my duty to step up and question government, especially the commission we have here," Jacobs began.

"Can please get someone to remove the commissioner off the dais," Mohammed interrupted. "Sorry, you do not have the floor. There's a whole thing about decorum in this commission and unfortunately, you are not following proper procedure. You have not been since we have come up on this dais and I am not going to tolerate the fact that you disrespect this commission right now."

"I'm not disrespecting," Jacobs started.

"You are disrespecting this commission," said Mohomed, cutting him off. "The motion has already passed."

After the meeting, Jacobs posted on Facebook, "It's a very sad day for Pembroke Park. Your new commission and mayor are selling y'all out. Make sure you attend your commission meetings and make your voice heard."

The town's police department was created to save money and break away from the Broward Sheriff's Office.

On Thursday, Howard said he took the termination in stride.

"I did 30 years in the Air Force. I did 30 years at the largest police department in Palm Beach County, all I got left is my integrity, I'm not gonna let anybody take that away."

He said he found out he was getting the axe after looking at the agenda for the meeting.

"Had they just come and talked to me I probably would've resigned," he said. "But they didn't. They terminated me for no cause." 

Howard said he has no idea why he was fired and thinks it was all politics. He added that he was proud of the small department he managed to put together, calling it a success. As for his future plans, Howard said he wants to throw his hat in the ring and run for Broward County Sheriff. 

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