J.D. Patterson, Jr., the interim Miami-Dade Police Director since Nov. 2012, was named to the job permanently Friday morning by Mayor Carlos Gimenez.
The announcement took place at the Miami-Dade Government Center before dozens of Miami-Dade Police officers of all ranks. Patterson appears to be a popular choice.
"I know we have the right man for the job," said Gimenez. "He is competent and honest and has the support of the people he's going to lead."
"I want this job because it's one of the greatest jobs in America," Patterson said. "The Bible tells us the one who serves is the greatest of all and I've always had a service heart. This job does not change that."
The new police director says one of his top priorities will be reducing gun violence.
"I challenge the community to have an honest discussion about guns and violence," Patterson said. "Violence is not the answer."
Patterson, 52, began his career with the Miami-Dade Police Dept. 30 years ago and worked his way up through the ranks. He is also an ordained Baptist minister.
Patterson also served as a staff sergeant in the U.S. Air Force.
He has been married for 28 years and has two daughters.