Back in April, we bid farewell to Police Chief Jim Conroy. Over the course of his 30-year career, Chief Conroy worked up through the ranks of the DeKalb County Police Department. He retired after serving as the chief since 2013. After several months of searching for a replacement, CEO Michael Thurmond has elected to bring in a fresh perspective from another agency. This month, we begin a new chapter with the appointment of Chief Mirtha Ramos.
Chief Ramos comes to us from the Miami-Dade Police Department in Florida. She started with Miami-Dade 22 years ago and, like Chief Conroy, had worked her way up through the ranks to division chief.
As police division chief for both the North Operations and Special Investigations Divisions, Ramos was responsible for leading one of Miami-Dade Police Department’s largest divisions, consisting of 1,047 employees in four police districts, including Miami International Airport and the Special Patrol Bureau.
Her responsibilities also included oversight of the Homeland Security, Economic Crimes, Warrants, Narcotics and Governmental Services bureaus. Ramos has successfully fostered positive partnerships with the Miami-Dade community through crime prevention and awareness programs. She was instrumental in growing Miami-Dade’s Youth Outreach Unit, a community-oriented policing initiative focused on trust-building, partnerships and crime prevention.
Chief Ramos was introduced to the media by CEO Thurmond and Public Safety Director Jack Lumpkin on October 3 at the Manuel Maloof Building. At this event she said, “I come here with no agenda. I come here to work with the men and women of the DeKalb County Police Department. I guarantee you that I’m here to serve.”
Director Lumpkin said of Chief Ramos, “She has the knowledge, skill, and abilities to develop and sustain strong partnerships that reduce crime. She is the right person at the right time.”
Chief Ramos is originally from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She has earned her bachelor’s in criminal justice from Lynn University and her master’s in psychology from Penn State. She also attended the International Association of Chiefs of Police Women’s Leadership Institute and the Federal Bureau of Investigation National Academy.
A change in leadership can be turbulent for any organization. Even strong leaders and good workers take time to learn what the other expects. With the wealth of knowledge and the excitement that Chief Ramos brings to DeKalb, I anticipate this transition will be very successful and the start of a great new chapter in the history of our agency.