The search for Acting Chief Vivian Monroe's successor as the head of the Miami-Dade County Public Schools police is well under way. After receiving 38 applications, Nelson Perez, the administrator who supervises the police department, winnowed the list down to 22. A search committee interviewed those applicants in person on March 2.
That committee consisted of Perez, assistant school board attorney Patricia Bass, deputy superintendent Carol Cortes, South Miami Police Chief Cokes Watson, and former FBI agent Paul Philip. The first committee passed the names of its three finalists, all of whom are commanders in the Miami-Dade police department, to the second review committee, which consists of deputy superintendent Joseph Mathos, school board attorney Johnny Brown, and Miami Beach Police Chief Richard Barreto. Perez says he expects the second committee to send one name to Superintendent Roger Cuevas, which he in turn will submit to the school board at its March 15 meeting.
The new chief will receive a salary as much as $24,000 per year higher than the $89,000 Vivian Monroe earned as chief (and will continue to earn as head of the special investigations unit).
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Quite a challenge awaits this successor. "We need the new chief to try to solidify the rank and file of our police department," says deputy superintendent of schools Henry Fraind. "This police chief must get the men and women of that police department to find a common thread, so they can achieve an esprit de corps. We've got some problems: There's low morale and enough internal strife that we want corrected."