Charles Press, the Village of Key Biscayne’s longtime police chief, told officials Monday that he will retire effective July 2nd.
“It’s a big loss for this community,” said Mayor Mike Davey, who said he tried in vain to get Press to change his mind.
“I tried to talk him out of it, but he’s been doing this for 40 years, and he has the right to make that determination.”
Press, 67, has been the island’s police chief since 2004, and took pride in the community being ranked among the safest in the state. Just recently, he beefed up patrols after an uptick in youth crime, and was planning revisions to overall policing to increase enforcement.
Under the Village Charter, the decision on Press’ replacement falls to the Village Manager, Steve Williamson. Williamson said Monday he was reviewing the process and would brief council members on next steps.
Press himself had just completed a four-month stint as the Village’s interim manager after the departure of manager Andrea Agha. Press did not seek the job, but for a brief period, some members of council considered adding Press to the list of finalists because of his strong performance as interim manager. But the idea drew withering criticism from other council members and was withdrawn.
Press was not immediately available for comment. In addition to his law enforcement role, Press has led an effort in Liberty City — the Chief Press Foundation — to build better police relationships in underserved areas.
Prior to becoming Key Biscayne’s chief, Press was an assistant chief of police in Miami Beach. He was not immediately available to comment.
Tony Winton is the editor-in-chief of the Key Biscayne Independent and president of Miami Fourth Estate, Inc. He worked previously at The Associated Press for three decades winning multiple Edward R. Murrow awards. He was president of the News Media Guild, a journalism union, for 10 years. Born in Chicago, he is a graduate of Columbia University. His interests are photography and technology, sailing, cooking, and science fiction.