I am humbled by the City Commission’s decision to appoint me Interim Chief of Police and thank them for the opportunity to lead the Coral Gables Police Department, which I have proudly been a part of for more than 26 years. I am well aware of the community’s concerns and am committed, together with the City Manager, the Mayor and the Commission, and our dedicated officers, to once again make Coral Gables one of the leading municipal police departments in this country. Upon my appointment on September 11, 2014, I immediately began to take steps to implement the policing strategies that I believe will best respond to the current circumstances.
Immediately following my appointment, I met with every shift and spent time in the field listening to our officers on the street. I have spoken with many of the citizens who have expressed concerns about crime in the City or were themselves victims. Effective immediately, I directed our Patrol Division to conduct and document area checks during their shifts. Officers on specific shifts have also been assigned permanent zones which they will patrol. This increased visibility in the community will serve as a crime deterrent. Officers have been instructed to work closely with the community, and by familiarizing themselves with their assigned areas and the residents, they will be better equipped to recognize unusual activity. You, as citizens, also play a vital role in keeping our neighborhoods and commercial areas safe and I remain fully committed to participating in Crime Watch meetings.
Much of the discussion at the September 11, 2014 Commission meeting focused on the manner in which the Department reports statistics. There are two types of reports: those generated from the national data base which contains information we are legally required/mandated to report, and more detailed reporting that the department has historically used internally to better understand trends in criminal activity within the City. Despite what various reports may generate, statistics don’t accurately tell the story of a victim’s experience. Please know that your Police Department is proactively working with other agencies to both prevent and solve crimes. I will be reaching out to neighboring cities on a regular basis to discuss opportunities for joint initiatives. I will be working with the City Manager to identify the resources necessary to implement new strategies and initiatives.
I am sincerely overwhelmed by the support and good wishes I have received from both the community and our officers. I am honored and proud to serve as your Chief and look forward to working together as we move forward. Please know that my door is always open to you and you can reach me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 305-460-5418.
Edward J. Hudak, Jr.
Interim Chief of Police
City of Coral Gables