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Former Miami-Dade Police Director Freddy Ramirez – whose July suicide attempt upended Mayor’s Daniella Levine Cava’s public safety administration – will return to Miami-Dade County government as an advisor.

In appointing a number of public safety positions, Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said in a news release that Ramirez will serve as a senior advisor for policing and transition, focused on preparing the police department for the transition to an elected sheriff.

Ramirez was the front-runner in the sheriff’s race before shooting himself with his service weapon on July 23 following an encounter with Tampa police. Ramirez was placed in handcuffs after a report that a man at Marriott Water Street Hotel threatened to shoot himself while arguing with a woman.

Ramirez and his wife, Jody, told police they were arguing but that there was no threat of self-harm. Tampa police allowed the couple to leave the hotel – where they were attending a statewide sheriff’s conference. Within a few hours, Ramirez shot himself on the side of Interstate 75 after calling Levine Cava and offering to resign.

Ramirez said afterwards in a public statement, that his wife grabbed his arm as he pulled the trigger. Remarkably, the bullet went through an eye, leaving Ramirez critically injured but able to return to a county position next January.

Ramirez served in several positions in Levine Cava’s administration, not only running one of the largest police departments in the nation, but also serving as chief of public safety overseeing fire-rescue, corrections and emergency services.

There are now at least 14 candidates vying for sheriff – a position created by voters in 2018 after it was abolished in the 1960s because of rampant corruption. Not a candidate –so far– is the woman who will now lead the department. The primary is Aug. 20. 

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In this image from Miami-Dade Police, Stephanie Daniels is seen in a video posted to Facebook in March, 2022. Mayor Daniella Levine Cava appointed her as director of the police department. Daniels, who had been serving as interim director in the aftermath of Freddy Ramirez suicide attempt, is the first black woman to hold the job. (KBI Photo via Miami Dade Police Dept).

Levine Cava appointed Interim MDPD Director Stephanie Daniels to the permanent job. Levine Cava, in the news release, called it a “historic milestone for our community as the first Black woman to lead the department.

In other moves, announced by the mayor’s office:

  • Deputy Corrections Director Sherea Green, also a black woman, was promoted to director of that department.
  • Corrections Director James Reyes will take on the administrative position of Chief of Public Safety overseeing the Miami-Dade Police Department, Miami-Dade Fire Rescue, and Corrections
  • JD Patterson, who was serving as interim Chief of Public Safety, will oversee the emergency management department and the medical examiner’s office
  • Christopher Carothers, who led police investigative services, was promoted to deputy police director under Daniels.

All but Ramirez start their new roles next week.


“This new public safety leadership team will ensure we are leaning on long-time expertise in our departments while also elevating proven leaders,” Levine Cava’s office said. 

“And I’m especially proud that for the first time in Miami-Dade’s history we will have Black women at the helm of both our Miami-Dade Police Department and Corrections Department.”

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JOHN PACENTI is the executive editor of the Key Biscayne Independent. John has worked for The Associated Press, the Palm Beach Post, Daily Business Review, and WPTV-TV.

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JOHN PACENTI is the executive editor of the Key Biscayne Independent. John has worked for The Associated Press, the Palm Beach Post, Daily Business Review, and WPTV-TV.