Letters to the Editor

Ex-chief defends record

In the Sept. 10 article In Miami, murders yield fewer arrests, it was intimated that as Miami’s police chief, in order to form the newly created tactical unit, I decimated the homicide unit of its detectives.

The story surmises that this is the reason why homicides are currently not being solved. Nothing could be further from the truth.

When I became police chief in 2009, the department’s clearance rate for murders was at an abysmal 38 percent. I increased staffing from 29 to 31, and as a result our clearance rate was 62 percent in 2010 and 61 percent in 2011.

The tactical units were created to prevent violent crime and arrest the culprits. Their presence was felt immediately, so much so that by the end of 2010 rapes and robberies had dropped to levels not seen since the ’60s.

This was accomplished with 70 officers fewer than the current staffing of 1,200. That year, the prestigious International Association of Chiefs of Police presented the department with the only award it has earned in its more than 100-year history.

The inability of my successors to control and solve violent crimes falls squarely on their shoulders; it should not soil the accomplishments of my administration.

Miguel Exposito, Cutler Bay