A veteran of Miami-Dade’s police department is making history by becoming DeKalb County’s first female police chief.
DeKalb County CEO Michael Thurmond appointed Mirtha V. Ramos as chief of the DeKalb County Police Department, effective Nov. 4. Ramos will be responsible for leading about 800 sworn police officers and 110 civilian employees, and managing the police department’s $95.1 million budget.
“Chief Ramos has embraced community policing as an effective tool to reduce crime and improve public safety,” said Thurmond. “She is an innovative leader who brings a wealth of experience, training and professionalism to this important position. I am confident that our new police chief will dedicate herself to advancing DeKalb County’s public safety priorities.”
Ramos, a 22-year veteran of the Miami-Dade Police Department, rose through the ranks and has held several leadership positions including division chief, major and captain.
As police division chief for both the North Operations and Special Investigations Divisions, Ramos was responsible for leading one of Miami-Dade Police Department’s largest divisions, consisting of 1,047 employees in four police districts, including the Miami International Airport and Special Patrol Bureau.
Her responsibilities also included oversight of the Homeland Security, Economic Crimes, Warrants, Narcotics, and Governmental Services bureaus.
“Chief Ramos has the knowledge, skill and abilities to develop and sustain strong partnerships that reduce crime,” said Public Safety Director Jack Lumpkin. “DeKalb County has the right person at the right time.” She is replacing Public Safety Director Jack Lumpkin, who has acted as the chief since former chief James Conroy retired in April.
A public conference was held on Oct. 7 where Thurmond introduced the new police chief and Ramos answered questions and shared her excitement about joining the DeKalb County Police Department.
“I’m honored to be first female police chief but I’m even more honored when I think of all of the women who came before me. I’m here due to my hard work and my ethics,” said Ramos. “I come here with no agenda, I come here to work with the men and women of the DeKalb County Police Department. I want to work with them hand-in-hand to propel this department forward. I’m here to protect and serve.”
Ramos said community policing and building relationships and opportunities for local youth are important to her.
Thurmond stated that the department is currently on track to hire an additional 60 police officers and said goals for improvement include building community initiatives and the continuance of efforts to recruit, train and retain qualified officers.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.