A year of uncertainty is over for the officers who protect and police the students and faculty of Miami-Dade County Public Schools.
The Miami-Dade School Board on Wednesday appointed Miami Police Maj. Ian Moffett as the department’s new chief, a year after former chief Charles Hurley was reassigned amid a district investigation. The board also approved a new contract with the department’s police union and agreed to hire more officers.
“We’re done with the past. We’re done with the Hurley stuff,” said Fraternal Order of Police President Howard Giraldo. “All I look to is new things.”
Board members unanimously gave law enforcement veteran Moffett, 42, the nod to lead the district’s police department. His appointment was one of many personnel moves as part of a sweeping central office shake-up the district says will save $10 million.
His starting date and salary weren’t immediately available.
Moffett, a native of Guyana, graduated from Southridge Senior High. He began his law enforcement career in 1993 as a corrections officer and shortly after joined schools police. He worked as a school resource officer and moved up the ranks to captain before leaving in 2009 to join then-Miami Police Chief Miguel Exposito as a police major overseeing training and personnel development.
Now he’s back.
“It’s surreal,” he said. “I’m a cool, collected kind of person, so we’ll take things one step at a time, day by day, and make a strategic plan.”
As chief, Moffett will oversee a department of roughly 150 that not only deals with fights, weapons, gangs and thefts, but also mentorships and crime prevention. He will work for a superintendent in Alberto Carvalho who has prioritized youth safety, even outside schools.
Moffett’s selection ends a rocky year for the department that began in May 2012 when Hurley was reassigned amid a sexual harassment investigation. Hurley was ultimately cleared of harassment by investigators but resigned in February rather than accept a demotion.
The district recently settled two related lawsuits.
Shortly after Hurley was reassigned, the police union’s contract expired. The contract approved Wednesday included retroactive pay raises and pay bumps for long-tenured officers, Giraldo said.
Gerald Kitchell, who served as interim chief after Hurley was removed from his post, will now be the department’s deputy chief and second in command.