When the City of Miami’s newest Police Chief Rodolfo “Rudy” Llanes was appointed on December 15, 2014, he eloquently stated, “We’ve all lost that feeling of nobility of what it means to be a police officer. And so we’re going to bring that back.”
If nothing else, his words most likely gave the officers of the Miami Police Department their first glimmer of hope in quite a while. At least this new Chief seemed to understand that police morale was at an all time low.
As Channel 10’s John Turchin noted, Chief Llanes will have his work cut out for him. “Within the last 24 hours, five people were gunned down while playing cards, sitting in a courtyard of this apartment complex in Overtown,” Turchin pointed out while the camera panned the scene of the vicious crime.
Not only is the new Chief responsible for dealing with inarguably the worst criminals on the mean streets of Miami-Dade County, but he also has to ensure that all eleven hundred of his police officers conduct themselves in an exemplary and professional manner.
After all, the true measure of a Police Chief’s leadership is the decorum of the officers who serve under him or her.
Chief Llanes’ leadership was tested for the first time on Monday, when one of his police officers surrendered “to the FBI on federal charges of shaking down a Liberty City gambling operation while providing protection.” As the Miami Herald reported in Miami police officer accused of shaking down gambling operator, Jerry Sutherland was “charged with two counts of Hobbs Act extortion that carry up to 20 years each.”
Unsurprisingly, Officer Sutherland was “relieved of duty.”
Also unsurprisingly, Police Chief Rodolfo Llanes issued a statement that should be emblazoned on plaques and hung on the office walls of every single Chief of Police in the United States of America.
Chief Rodolfo Llanes’ inspiring words, combined with a swift and decisive action to rid his department of someone not worthy of wearing the badge, are the mark of a true leader. His public pronouncement that he will never tolerate conduct unbecoming from any of his officers has certainly set the bar high.
How many of his peers will follow his lead?
Will the Chief of the NMPD be one of them?
“Spreading the Wealth”