MIAMI (WSVN) – As the City of Miami’s police chief gets ready to retire from the force, he spoke about his time on the job, including in 2020, which saw a lot of turmoil on the city’s streets.
Police Chief Jorge Colina will walk out of the downtown Miami police headquarters for the final time on Friday. He said a mix of emotions will come over him as he finishes his last week on the job.
“I’ve spent more time here during my life than I haven’t,” Colina said. “I’ve been here longer than I haven’t. Seeing the officers wearing the City of Miami patch, something that I’ve done a little over 30 years, I get that sense of I’m not going to be a part of that anymore.”
Colina has been the city’s top officer for the past three years, rising the ranks during his decades-long tenure. He said his wife is the person who encouraged him to become an officer and to pursue a leadership role.
“It was really my wife also hearing me complain enough times about things I wasn’t pleased with,” Colina said. “She was the one that said, ‘Listen, if you’re gonna keep complaining, then maybe you should take the sergeant’s exam and get promoted, and then, you can do some of the things you’re complaining that don’t happen.’”
However, Colina’s time as chief did not come without controversy and difficulties.
Recently, the death of George Floyd brought police brutality to the forefront and sparked protests across the country, including Miami. Colina said he is proud of his officers’ response during the protests and believes the department became a model for other cities.
When asked whether the current social climate influenced his decision to leave, he said it was the opposite.
“I feel like I’m built for this time, but I have so many other things that I want to do,” Colina said. “That created a little bit more of ‘Do I stay? Or do I go?’ Ultimately, I thought this was best.”
Colina said he will work in consulting during his retirement, which will allow him more free time and the ability to choose his own hours.
“We’ll do crisis management, crisis communication,” he said. “We’ll work with some vendors that are seeking government contracts. That kind of thing.”
Colina added he is grateful to lead the men and women working in the department and for those in the community.
“If I ask for people to come out to volunteer and help us clean out an area, people come,” he said. “If I ask them to please support a charity because this charity is in great need, they do it, and so they’ve really responded to me, and I know that hasn’t always been the case. I’m really grateful and appreciate them, as well.”
Colina said Miami City Manager Arthur Noriega should have his replacement selected within the next two weeks.
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