Armando Guzman, 57, was sworn in as the new Miami Springs police chief at a special meeting on Monday, Jan. 12.
Before addressing residents, Guzman honored his 97-year-old mother who he seated in the front row. He thanked her for his proper upbringing twice — once in English, then Spanish.
“I want to make life better and safer for the citizens of Miami Springs, said Guzman, after being sworn in by Third District Court of Appeals Judge Ivan Fernandez. Years ago, Guzman and Fernandez worked side by side fighting crime on the Miami Police Department’s SWAT team.
Guzman started his new position on Jan. 5 after serving as the public safety chief at Miami Dade College’s Kendall campus. Prior to that, he served for 31 years with the city of Miami police department.
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“We did pick up a great police chief,” said Miami Springs Mayor Zavier Garcia. City officials spent months weeding through 100 current and former police officials, federal agents and security consultants from around the world applied for the slot.
In the final round, Guzman was chosen over Rafael P. Hernandez, an investigator with the Miami-Dade State Attorneys’ Office; Thomas W. Cannon, a former Miami assistant police chief; and Van Toth, the current Hialeah Gardens police chief.
City Manager Ron Gorland gave weight to a reference by former Miami Police Chief John Timoney, who wrote: “He [Guzman] will make an excellent chief and you will do yourself and the citizens of Miami Springs proud by choosing him to lead your department into the future.”
The chief’s salary starts at up to $114,406 a year, plus benefits, according to the city. This position is responsible for leading a department with 45 officers and a budget of nearly $6 million.