Richard Rand, a North Miami Beach police lifer who less than a year ago was elevated to the department’s top post, resigned Thursday without offering much explanation.
And city leaders didn’t help much in explaining why Rand is retiring after such a short stint. When the mayor said he thought Rand was pressured to leave by the city manager, the city manager said he didn’t know what the mayor was talking about.
City Manager Arthur H. Sorey III told the Miami Herald he was surprised to learn of Rand’s resignation Thursday and that he thought the chief was doing an “excellent job.”
Whatever the reason, Rand, who grew up in North Miami Beach before reaching the police department’s top rung, sent Sorey a letter of resignation Thursday saying he was leaving because he was ready to enjoy the next chapter in his life.
It’s actually the second time Rand has resigned since being promoted last March. His first retirement was back in November. But that lasted less than a day. And he rescinded that decision after the manager and other city leaders expressed support for the chief.
Sorey, in a prepared statement, said Rand’s last day would be July 5.
“Your strong work ethic has greatly impacted the success and growth of our North Miami Beach Police Department,” said the city manager. “I wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors.”
Rand’s message to Sorey Thursday thanked city leaders for naming him chief, said he decided to retire to “enjoy the fruits of my labor” and called the agency the “model police department in the state of Florida.”
“Together, we had tremendous success in lowering crime for five consecutive years,” Rand wrote. “Since being promoted to chief, the city has become a safer place to work, play, and live.”
Rand hadn’t returned a phone call or text for comment by late Thursday afternoon.
Rand, who grew up in North Miami Beach, has served almost every important post in the city’s police department. He began his career at the police department in 1997 and has an undergraduate degree in criminal justice from Union Institute & University and a Master’s from the University of San Diego.
After serving as a patrol officer, he was named sergeant in charge of field operations in 2007 and promoted to captain in 2014. Two years later, he was promoted to major. He’s also overseen the department’s gang unit and criminal investigations.
Late Thursday, North Miami Beach Mayor Anthony DeFillipo said he was having a hard time believing all the rosy statements coming from the manager and Rand. He suggested Rand was pressured to leave and that he had a “communication issue” with the manager.
DeFillipo has not been happy with a series of personnel changes in the city as tensions have escalated among its elected officials, stemming in part from the commission gaining a Haitian-American majority for the first time in 2020.
Sorey, after brushing aside DeFillipo’s remarks, said he couldn’t quite figure out what had changed since November when Rand decided he wanted to stay.
“Honestly, I’m not sure,” said the manager. “We were doing great work.”
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