From Miami to Ferguson: Delrish Moss taking reins of police department

Delrish Moss
Delrish Moss

Delrish Moss, the long-time voice of the Miami Police Department and whose law enforcement career has spanned more than three decades, is scheduled to be sworn in as police chief in Ferguson, Missouri, on Monday afternoon.

Moss, a major in Miami, will be charged with making changes amid a scalding lawsuit by the U.S. Department of Justice that claimed the city’s police department was interfering with free expression and arresting and citing black residents for traffic infractions at unusually high rates.

He has pledged to hire more women and black police officers in a department where the gender and racial makeup doesn’t come close to mirroring its community. That was particularly evident near the end of 2014, when riots broke out after a white police officer in Ferguson shot and killed an unarmed black teen, Michael Brown.

The burning patrol cars, fires, looting of businesses and the heavy-handed response by law enforcement were captured on TV the world over. It was those several days of civil unrest that propelled similar outbreaks in Baltimore and other U.S. cities.

Moss, 51, who spent time in Ferguson meeting with citizens, community leaders and members of the police force beofre his appointment, said he found a racial divide in the city that can be overcome through engagement.

He is expected to spend Monday morning doing media interviews before his afternoon swearing-in ceremony.