Jorge Colina appointed new chief of Miami Police Department

Jorge Colina has been appointed as the new chief of the Miami Police Department by city manager Emilio Gonzalez. 

Colina will be sworn in Jan. 26.

“Chief Rodolfo Llanes highly recommended Jorge Colina as his successor. The fact that he served as Assistant Police Chief in all the divisions makes him extremely qualified and well-rounded to lead the Miami Police Department,” Gonzalez said in a statement.

Colina began his law enforcement career in the Miami Police Department in 1990. 

He has earned multiple awards and over 100 commendations during his 27 years of service and has served in numerous executive positions, including neighborhood commander of the Coconut Grove NET area, commander of Tactical Operations and commander of Internal Affairs Section.

He was appointed assistant chief of police in 2015.

Colina said his top priority will be cracking down on gun violence. 

“When you live in a place as beautiful as Miami, you shouldn’t be afraid to go outside, and I want to help change that,” Colina said.

Colina hopes to also increase transparency among the police department and the community and utilize community partnerships.

“My style is a hands-on approach,” he said. “I don’t want to be in the office. I know I’m not going to have a choice a lot of the time, but ideally, the more often that I am able to be outside of the office with the officers on the street and interacting with the community, building those relationships to leverage into, the more success. That’s going to be my intent.”

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Crane falls on construction worker in Marathon

A crane fell on top of a construction worker Wednesday in Marathon, authorities said.

The incident was reported about 9 a.m. at a construction site on Sadowski Causeway in Key Colony Beach. 

Monroe County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Becky Herrin said deputies arrived at the scene to find Joe Stutzman, 46, of Fort Pierce, trapped under the boom of a crane.

Paramedics and deputies worked together to lift the boom off Stutzman, who was then airlifted to Jackson Memorial Hospital’s Ryder Trauma Center.

Herrin said the crane is owned by Waterfront Construction and is located on a barge in the area.

She said the Southeast Marine Construction company subcontracted with the company to put a new dock in that location.

Herrin said numerous witnesses were interviewed by authorities, and all of them said Stutzman was trying to extend the boom when it collapsed on him. 

The victim’s condition has not been released.

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Miami named finalist for location of new Amazon headquarters

Miami remains in the running to be the location for Amazon’s second headquarters.

The online giant narrowed its list of possible cities to 20 on Thursday, and the Magic City made the list.

The new headquarters is expected to bring 50,000 jobs to the city that is selected, as well as up to $5 billion in investments.

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, currently the richest man in the world, grew up in South Florida and attended Miami Palmetto Senior High School.

The remaining cites on the Amazon list are:

  • Atlanta, GA
  • Austin, TX
  • Boston, MA
  • Chicago, IL
  • Columbus, OH
  • Dallas, TX
  • Denver, CO
  • Indianapolis, IN
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • Miami, FL
  • Montgomery County, MD
  • Nashville, TN
  • Newark, NJ
  • New York City, NY
  • Northern Virginia, VA
  • Philadelphia, PA
  • Pittsburgh, PA
  • Raleigh, NC
  • Toronto, ON
  • Washington D.C.

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1 arrested in shooting of off-duty police officer in Palmetto Bay

Police have arrested one of two men accused of shooting and robbing a veteran South Florida police officer in his driveway, authorities said Wednesday.

Kionne Bell, 22, of Florida City, faces charges of attempted second-degree murder, armed robbery and aggravated battery.

Robin Pinkard, a spokeswoman for the Miami-Dade Police Department, said officers also recovered the red Toyota Corolla that was involved in the shooting.

The second suspect, who police did not identify, is still at large, Pinkard said. 

According to the arrest report, King and his wife were driving home after shopping Tuesday night when they noticed a red Toyota following them. But the Toyota turned away before they arrived home, the report said.

Yet as King unloaded his car, Bell and the other man walked into the gated yard and Bell punched King in the face, the report said.

According to the report, King reached for his gun, but during a struggle with Bell, the gun fired and King was shot in the arm.

King’s wife heard the commotion and came outside. The second man pushed her to the ground, punched her in the face and stole her watch, the report said. The men sped away in the red Toyota, taking King’s gun and wallet with them, police said.

Police did not say whether they had recovered King’s gun.

Bell also faces charges in a separate armed robbery from Jan. 9. Police said Bell attacked a man with pepper spray and stole $600 and a gold necklace. 

In 2016, Bell was arrested accused of beating of two brothers during a home invasion in southwest Miami-Dade. However, prosecutors dropped the charges last year.

Bell is currently being held at the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center on more than $40,000 bond.

King, who has been a police officer in South Florida for nearly 50 years, is being treated at Jackson South Medical Center. 

“Gary’s going to be OK, but he went through a long night and a long surgery,” Doral Police Chief Donald De Lucca said at a news conference Wednesday morning.

King began his law enforcement career with the Miami Police Department in 1969. He served with the Miami-Dade Police Department from 1982 to 2007 before joining the Doral Police Department, where he is the traffic section commander.

Anyone with information about the second suspect is asked to call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-8477.

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Deputies search for man who snatched wedding ring from postal worker

Broward County sheriff’s deputies are searching for a man who snatched a postal worker’s wedding ring off her finger while she was delivering mail just outside Fort Lauderdale.

Police released a sketch of the man Wednesday in hopes of tracking him down. 

Deputies said the victim was placing mail in mailboxes when a man approached her from behind and grabbed her arm on Dec. 22 in the 1200 block of Northwest 30th Terrace in an unincorporated area of Broward County.

Deputies said he slid his hand down her arm and pulled a silver wedding band engraved with roses from her finger. 

Deputies said another man was also present during the robbery.

“You’re in the wrong neighborhood,” he reportedly told the victim.

Deputies said the men then fled the scene in an older-model Lincoln or Cadillac. The car was rusted and painted light blue, purple and black, deputies said.

Deputies described the first man as a slender black man in his 20s. He is about 6 feet tall and had shoulder-length black hair in dreadlocks, deputies said. 

Deputies described the second man as a stocky black man in his 20s. He is about 6 feet tall and had a beard, deputies said. The victim said both men spoke with Caribbean accents.

Deputies believe that a third man drove the getaway car.

Anyone with information about the men is asked to call Detective Robert Sokol at 954-321-4229 or Broward Crime Stoppers at 954-493-8477.

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