North Miami’s next police chief is a familiar face as he’s one of the police department’s assistant police chiefs.
Gary Eugene, who has more than 30 years of law enforcement experience, was formally appointed to the position on an interim basis Tuesday morning.
He will replace Leonard Burgess, who announced his retirement earlier this month after about a decade with the department on two separate occasions in the 1980s and from 2010 until his retirement. Burgess was in charge of the police force for about two years.
City Manager Larry Spring said the city will still be looking for a full-time replacement but will not look too far.
“In hearing feedback about morale at the department, we thought it was important that the replacement come from inside the department,” Spring said.
The city posted an internal job listing for the full-time position that closed this week. A decision on a permanent appointee will come soon.
Eugene joined the North Miami police department in 2013 and was appointed assistant chief in 2014. Before that, he was a trailblazer with the city of Miami police department, where he started in 1985 and rose up the ranks to become the first Haitian-American sergeant, lieutenant, captain and commander in the department’s history.