Miami Beach

40-year cop takes No. 2 job at Miami Beach P.D.

Forty-year law-enforcement veteran John Buhrmaster has been named deputy chief of the Miami Beach Police Department.

Buhrmaster, 63, takes the place of Mark Overton, who left to be police chief of Bal Harbour.

Beach Police Chief Ray Martinez appointed Buhrmaster to the post in a ceremony on Thursday.

“I don’t think there’s anyone in Dade County who has the amount of experience that he has,” Martinez said. “I think everybody will recognize his talents.”

Buhrmaster spent most of his career in the city of Miami where he led the department’s homicide unit for decades. He retired in in June 2012 only to join Miami Beach shortly thereafter.

“I was not ready to stop working,” Buhrmaster said.

Buhrmaster was tapped to lead the Beach’s internal affairs unit after a spate of embarrassing and high-profile police issues. He served in that role for about a year before his promotion to deputy chief.

Buhrmaster called himself “straightforward” and “brutally honest,” but added that he has an open door policy.

“I’ll make decisions. That’s what I’ll do,” Buhrmaster said. “I don’t look for someone else to take the blame.”

Miami Beach Fraternal Order of Police President Alex Bello said Buhrmaster “seems to be a cop’s cop.”

Buhrmaster’s appointment is one of several changes recently at the police department. He said a handful of senior officers have also been given new assignments. And more change could be coming to the police brass: Chief Martinez is himself a finalist for the top cop spot in the city of South Miami.

Bello, the union president, said he hopes Martinez will be “convinced to stay here.”

The changes at the police department follow an ongoing shakeup at City Hall in both the administration and elected commission. Even the fire department is in for a shift of leadership: Hollywood Fire Chief Virgil Fernandez is slated to take over the position currently held by Chief Javier Otero at the end of February.

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