North Miami - NMB

North Miami police chief to resign after two years as top cop

North Miami Police Chief Leonard Burgess
North Miami Police Chief Leonard Burgess City of North Miami

After two years at the top of the North Miami Police Department, Chief Leonard Burgess announced his resignation Monday. He will officially step down from the post May 23.

Burgess announced the decision in a letter to city manager Larry Spring and the police department.

“It has been a pleasure to work here, considering I started my police career here 32 years ago,” Burgess wrote in the letter.

His stint as police chief started on an interim basis in February 2014 when he replaced outgoing chief Marc Elias. He was formally appointed to the position in June 2014 and has held the post since then.

Burgess started with the department in 1984 and remained until 1988. He then spent about 20 years with Miami-Dade police and had a stint as the deputy director of Miami-Dade Corrections and Rehabilitation. He returned to North Miami in 2010 and was appointed assistant chief in 2011.

Council members said they appreciated that Burgess was accessible and always kept them informed about incidents in the city.

“I think our police department took a more positive step when he was appointed,” Councilwoman Carol Keys said.

Spring said an interim replacement hasn’t been determined yet, but the transition plan will be finalized before May 23.

Burgess told council members that he plans to retire and spend time with his wife and family. He said he might return to police work in another year or two.

Lance Dixon: 305-376-3708, @LDixon_3