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Wayne A. Jones sworn in as Miami Beach Police Chief

Wayne A. Jones sworn in as Miami Beach Police Chief
Wayne A. Jones sworn in as Miami Beach Police Chief 02:46

MIAMI -- Wayne A. Jones was sworn in Thursday as the new Chief of the Miami Beach Police Department.

In a special ceremony at the New World Center surrounded bring family, friends, law enforcement and elected leaders, Chief Jones raised his right hand and took the oath of office administered by Mayor Dan Gelber.

"Today I am humbled to stand before you as the first black police chief in one of America's most iconic cities. I actually tell people this is the coolest city in America," Chief Jones said.

He's been with the department for 27 years. He started out on patrol and eventually moved up the ranks, spearheading a task force investigating human trafficking. 

"In every job he's had, he's performed in an extraordinary fashion," Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber said. "It is that body of work that brings him here today to be our chief."

A who's who of elected officials showered Chief Jones with proclamations and praise, including a letter of support from President Joe Biden.

Congresswoman Frederica Wilson and State Senator Shevrin Jones among others presented Chief Jones with accolades.

Jones' family was in attendance. His father pinned him with his new badge, a full-circle moment for the two men.

"My father, who I'm honored is here today to share this special moment with me, to see me become the Police Chief of the department he once warned me about when I was a teenager learning to drive here in South Florida."

Jones was born in the Bahamas. He moved to the South Florida and earned an Associate of Science degree in Aviation from Miami-Dade College and a dual Bachelor of Arts in Public Administration and Political Science from Florida Memorial University. He also earned a graduate degree in Public Administration from Florida International University.

He was most recently the Deputy Chief in Miami Beach, a city where Black people make up less than 5% of the population.

"Black Bahamian hands built this city," said Glendon Hall, the Chair of the Miami Beach Black Affairs Advisory Committee. "Black culture made Miami Beach cool, from Ella Fitzgerald to Prince. Don't let anybody ever tell you, you don't belong here."

In his speech Thursday, Jones promised to address ongoing issues with Spring Break chaos as well as increase diversity on the force through mentorship and training.

He vows 30% of the department will be women by 2030.

"I won't be a success on my own. Today is about you and me. It is about us. It's about what we as an organization and a community can do together when we work as a team and a family," Jones said.

Jones takes over for Richard Clements, who became Chief in 2019.

Jones' first official day on the job is Friday, September 1st.

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