In 1966, Miami-Dade County eliminated an elected sheriff position due to widespread corruption. After decades and due to recent changes in Florida laws, Miami-Dade County residents will have the opportunity to elect their next Sheriff in 2024.

Although Mayor Daniella Levine Cava and Miami-Dade County Commissioners approved a division of duties between the Miami-Dade County Police Department and the new Sheriff’s jurisdiction, the Florida Sheriffs’ Association sued Miami-Dade County, requesting a mandate that the County’s Police Department be transferred to the newly elected Sheriff. The court sided with Miami-Dade County and deferred to wait until a Sheriff is elected to allow the new Sheriff to weigh-in on the issue.

However, in May 2023, the State of Florida Legislature overruled the court’s decision and passed a bill requiring that a newly elected Miami-Dade County Sheriff take full responsibility for the entire Miami-Dade County Police Department within three years of taking office in January 2025.

The State Legislature failed to fund the newly required transition mandate force on the Miami-Dade County residents. According to one of the co-sponsors of HB 1595, the transition team can use the funds allocated to the Miami-Dade County Police Department. The state legislature failed to consider that those funds are funding the police department’s current services to Miami-Dade County residents.

Based on my discussion with the cosponsors of HB 1595, I’ve requested that a subsequent bill or amendment thereto to be submitted to fund the transition in the upcoming legislative session.

The newly elected Sheriff will not report to the County be independent of the county control and will not report to the County Mayor or to the County Commissioners.

The Sheriff’s jurisdictional responsibility will be to the Miami-Dade County residents and will have the jurisdiction to assist all municipalities within Miami-Dade County. The responsibilities of the Miami-Dade Police Department will be transferred to the newly created Sheriff’s Department within 3 years of the 2024 election. 

The Sheriff will be elected for a term of four (4) years. I have requested that the Florida legislature include an amendment that would impose term-limits on the position. 

The person you ELECT should be someone who will not only prioritize your and your family’s safety and security, but also be tough on crime and possess the character traits and vision to implement 21st century policing best practices.

Miami-Dade County residents deserve a Sheriff who will keep them safe without violating or trampling on their Civil Rights. They deserve a Sheriff who understands their stakeholders are not only Deputies but also Miami-Dade County residents. A Sheriff who will work collaboratively and cooperatively with other municipalities. A Sheriff who understands the importance of community’s interest and needs with fighting crime but also provides an outlet to be heard. A Sheriff who understands that accountability is essential to building trust. Most importantly, Miami-Dade deserves a Sheriff who will remain humble and not abuse the power entrusted to them by the voters.


Independent Civilian Oversight Panel Ordinance

I had the privilege of working cooperatively and collaboratively with a coalition made up of over thirty-two different community-based organizations in Miami-Dade County. With Commissioners Jordan and, at the time, Commissioner Levine Cava’s leadership, the coalition advocated and persuaded the Miami-Dade County Commissioners to approve the Independent Civilian Oversight Panel (ICP) Ordinance. The Ordinance provides the Panel the authority to investigate complaints that involved the Miami-Dade County Police Department.

Mental Health Reform

I worked with Florida State Legislature to pass House Bill (HB) 945, which requires the use of de-escalation strategies and outreach to a mobile response team for assessments prior law enforcement removes that child from school property. Miami-Dade County Public Schools used the Baker Act as cover to remove a child from school property when they didn’t want to deal with that student and to keep their arrest statistics low. The removal of that child under the Baker Act didn’t seem to matter if that child didn’t meet the criteria under the Baker Act law. HB 945 passed both the State House and State Senate unanimously and signed into law by Governor DeSantis.

Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Reforms

As a Federal Agent, I had the honor and privilege to work closely with United States Attorneys’ identifying, assessing, and documenting cases that were affected by the issues related to loopholes in the CFR. Having to document the recommendations in a concise and understandable fashion was a challenge.

Susan Khoury for Miami-Dade County Sheriff