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Miami-Dade Police Department

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Miami-Dade Police Department
Seal of the Miami-Dade Police Department
Seal of the Miami-Dade Police Department
Badge of an MDPD supervising officer
Badge of an MDPD supervising officer
Common nameMiami-Dade Police
Agency overview
Formed1836; 188 years ago (1836)
Jurisdictional structure
Operations jurisdictionMiami-Dade County, Florida, U.S.
Size2,431 sq mi (6,300 km2)
General nature
Operational structure
HeadquartersDoral, Florida
OfficersApproximately 3,000
Unsworn membersApproximately 1,700
Agency executive
  • Stephanie V. Daniels, Director of Police

The Miami-Dade Police Department (MDPD), formerly known as the Dade County Sheriff's Office (1836–1957), Dade County Public Safety Department (1957–1981), and the Metro-Dade Police Department (1981–1997), is a law enforcement agency serving Miami-Dade County. The MDPD has approximately 4,700 employees, making it the largest police department in the southeastern United States and the eighth largest in the country.[1] The department is still often referred by its former name, the Metro-Dade Police or simply Metro.

The MDPD operates out of eight district stations throughout Miami-Dade County and several specialized bureaus. The MDPD is internationally accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, as well as at the state level by the Florida Commission for Law Enforcement Accreditation. The current director of the department is Stephanie V. Daniels,[2] who succeeded Alfredo Ramirez III. The department's headquarters are located in Doral, Florida.[3]

Miami-Dade Police officers wear taupe/brown uniforms. Their vehicles are green and white.[4]


An MDPD Dodge Charger Pursuit parked outside Hard Rock Stadium.
MDPD helicopter

The Dade County Sheriff's Office was created in 1836 to serve the newly created County of Dade, which originally consisted of the area comprising the present-day counties of Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach and Martin. In the early years, the entire area was policed by as few as three deputies on horseback, and Dade's sheriffs were appointed by the governor. In 1899, the office of the sheriff became an elected position. By 1915, the jurisdiction area had been reduced to its present size of approximately 2,139 square miles.[5]

In 1957, the metropolitan form of government was established, and the Dade County Sheriff's Office was subsequently renamed the Public Safety Department. The Public Safety Department's organizational structure, as determined by the metropolitan charter, included responsibility for police and fire protection, the jail and stockade, civil defense, animal control, and motor vehicle inspection. In 1960, the Public Safety Department also assumed responsibility for police operations at the Port of Miami and Miami International Airport.[5] By 1966, the Public Safety Department had approximately 850 sworn officers in its ranks. That year a long-standing controversy over the selection/election procedure for choosing a county sheriff was resolved by voter mandate. Subsequently, non-elected sheriffs were appointed by the county manager as "Director of the Public Safety Department and Sheriff of Metropolitan Dade County."

In August 1968, roughly coinciding with the Republican National Convention in Miami Beach, rioting broke out in Liberty City. Unable to control the situation, the Florida Highway Patrol and National Guard were brought in. Claiming they were being attacked by snipers, the police killed three people. No one was injured by sniper fire, and no weapons were found.[6]: 202 

In 1973, the responsibility for running the county's jails was transferred to the newly created Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. By that year, the Public Safety Department had also been divested of all other non-police responsibilities in order to concentrate entirely on law enforcement services. In July 1981, the Public Safety Department was renamed the Metro-Dade Police Department.

In September 1997, voters decided to change the county's name to Miami-Dade County. As such, the department was renamed the Miami-Dade Police Department the following December.[5]

On September 13, 2007, four Miami-Dade Police Department officers were shot by a suspect with an AK-47, resulting in the death of one officer, Jose Somohano. Another officer suffered a serious leg injury. The suspect, Shawn Sherwin Labeet, fled the scene but was found in an apartment complex later that day. He was cornered in a poolhouse bathroom by members of Miami-Dade Police Special Response Team (equivalent to SWAT), and was shot and killed when he refused to drop a pistol he was holding.

On the morning of Thursday, January 20, 2011, two Miami-Dade Police officers were shot and killed by a homicide suspect, Johnny Sims. According to Miami-Dade Police Director James Loftus, the MDPD fugitive warrant team were assisting the U.S. Marshals Service in the city of Miami in apprehending the suspect, for whom a murder warrant had been issued.[7] Police arrived at the suspect's mother's house and made contact with a member of the family, when the suspect surprised police by opening fire.[8] Detective Roger Castillo, a 21-year veteran, was shot in the head and died at the scene, and Detective Amanda Haworth, a 23-year veteran, was shot several times and taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital's Ryder Trauma Center in grave condition where she underwent emergency surgery there, but died shortly thereafter.[9] The suspect, Sims, was shot and killed by another detective at the scene.[10]

In December 2019, the Miami-Dade Police Department came under scrutiny after a shootout in Miramar. MDPD officers, as well as police from other agencies, responded to fleeing robbers who carjacked a United Parcel Service van and took the UPS driver hostage. After a car chase, the MDPD killed the two suspects, the UPS driver, and an innocent bystander. The department received criticism for its officers' behavior, which included firing into open traffic and using civilian vehicles for cover.[11] A total of 19 officers fired guns during the shootout, including 15 MDPD officers, 3 Miramar Police Department officers, and 1 Pembroke Pines Police Department officer.[12]

Transition To A Sheriff's Office[edit]

In 2018, Florida voters—including 58% of Miami-Dade voters—approved a constitutional amendment requiring every county in the state to elect a handful of "constitutional officers," including a sheriff. Following this, the Florida legislature passed House Bill 1595, which allows for a gradual shift in what the public will see from county law enforcement once the new sheriff takes office in January 2025. The bill allows a three-year transition to shift MDPD squad cars to the sheriff motif, including deputy badges with stars and a color scheme dominated by dark green.


MDPD police stations include:[13]

  1. Northwest District Station (Miami Lakes)
  2. Northside District Station (West Little River)
  3. Midwest District Station (Doral)
  4. South District Station (Cutler Ridge)
  5. Kendall District Station (Kendall)
  6. Intracoastal District Station (North Miami Beach)
  7. Airport District Station (Miami International Airport, Florida)
  8. West District Station (The Hammocks)

Contracted municipalities


Breakdown of the makeup of the rank and file of MDPD:

  • Male: 75.58%
  • Female: 24.42%
  • White: 20.02%
  • Hispanic: 58.11%
  • African-American/Black: 20.58%
  • Other: 1.29%

Ranks and insignia[edit]

Title Insignia
Deputy Director
Assistant Director
Deputy Chief or Division Chief
Police Officer/Detective

All rank insignia are worn on the collars of the shirt, except for sergeant, which is worn on each sleeve, below the department patch.

Specialized units[edit]

  • Arson Unit
  • Auto Theft Unit
  • Aviation Unit
  • Bomb Squad
  • K9 Unit
  • Citizens Volunteer Program
  • Communications Bureau
  • Forensic Services Bureau
  • Crime Stoppers – (305) 471-TIPS
  • Court Services Bureau
  • Drug Abuse Resistance Education
  • Economic Crimes Bureau
  • Warrants Bureau (assists US Marshal Service)
  • General Investigations Unit (G.I.U.)
  • Homeland Security Bureau
  • Homicide Bureau
  • Information Technology Services Bureau (ITSB)
  • Professional Compliance Bureau
  • Marine Patrol
  • Motors Traffic Unit
  • Public Information and Education Bureau
  • Narcotics Bureau
  • Neighborhood Resource Unit (N.R.U.)
  • Organized Crime Section
  • Personnel Management Bureau
  • Police Legal Bureau
  • Property and Evidence Section
  • Public Corruption and Criminal Conspiracy Unit
  • Robbery Bureau
  • Robbery Intervention Detail (RID)
  • Cargo Theft Task Force
  • Street Terror Offender Program (S.T.O.P.)
  • Special Patrol Bureau (Motorcycle, D.U.I. Certified)
  • Special Response Team (S.R.T.)
  • Special Victims Bureau (Sexual Battery & Domestic Crimes)
  • Strategic Policing Operations Response Team (SPORT)
  • Miami-Dade Public Safety Training Institute
  • Underwater Recovery Unit
  • Southeast Regional Domestic Security Task Force

Popular culture[edit]

The department has been depicted in a number of television shows, films, and video games:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Miami-Dade Police Department" (PDF) (2018 ed.). Retrieved March 13, 2019.
  2. ^ "Biographies - Alfredo Ramirez III - Director". www.miamidade.gov. Miami-Dade County Online Services. Retrieved 2016-04-18.
  3. ^ "Miami-Dade Police". Miami-Dade County. Retrieved 2016-04-18.
  4. ^ "Miami-Dade Police Director in front of a police car". Miami Today News. Retrieved 2023-11-22.
  5. ^ a b c "Analysis of Potential Merger of the Miami-Dade Police Department and the Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation" (PDF). Miami-Dade County (June 2006). 2006-06-30. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2007-08-10. Retrieved 2007-06-16.
  6. ^ Tscheschlok, Eric G. (1995). Long Road to Rebellion: Miami's Liberty City Riot of 1968 (MA). Florida Atlantic University.
  7. ^ "Miami-Dade Police Department, FL". The Officer Down Memorial Page (ODMP). Retrieved 2023-11-11.
  8. ^ Elfrink, Tim. "Two More Florida Cops Killed While Miami Mourns Roger Castillo and Amanda Haworth". Miami New Times. Retrieved 2023-11-11.
  9. ^ "2 Miami-Dade Cops Killed Serving Murder Warrant - CBS Miami". www.cbsnews.com. 2011-01-20. Retrieved 2023-11-11.
  10. ^ "2 officers, suspect killed in Miami shootout". NBC News. 2011-01-20. Retrieved 2023-11-11.
  11. ^ Andrew Boryga, Lisa J. Huriash, Mario Ariza & Tonya Alanez, Did cops in shootout blow it and put lives at risk? Victim's family demands answers., South Florida Sun-Sentinel (December 6, 2019).
  12. ^ Ian Margol & Andrea Torres, FDLE's update on probe: 20 officers fire weapons during fatal shooting, WPLG (March 6, 2020).
  13. ^ "Contact Miami-Dade Police Department." Miami-Dade Police Department. Retrieved on September 8, 2012.
  14. ^ "Miami Swat (TV Series 2009– ) - IMDb". IMDb.

External links[edit]