Fort Lauderdale Police Chief Rick Maglione is being removed from his position and reassigned within the department after several officers faced criticism for their handling of protests earlier this year.
Fort Lauderdale City Manager Chris Lagerbloom announced the move Thursday
“I have decided to make a change in leadership at the police department. I’m making this change after consulting with our elected leaders, who are supportive of my decision to begin a search for our next police chief,” Lagerbloom explained.
“To the men and women of the Fort Lauderdale Police Department, I want you to know the city stands with you. We are committed to due process and the officers’ bill of rights. To the public, you deserve a world-class police department. There are so many examples that exist of the great work our police department does in the community. Our commitment to public safety, public service and professionalism has never been stronger.”
The move comes after multiple controversies stemming from Fort Lauderdale police actions during regional protests following George Floyd‘s death in Minneapolis.
LaToya Ratlieff, who was hit by a rubber bullet while protesting, released a statement on Maglione’s reassignment.
“I commend the city for taking this important first step in the right direction,” Ratlieff said in a statement flagged by NBC6’s Phil Prazan. “Fort Lauderdale needs a Chief of Police who is committed to bringing about the change that is needed within the department.”
City Manager Lagerbloom also announced Assistant Chief Karen Dietrich will serve as interim Police Chief while the city searches for a permanent replacement.
“She is a 30-year veteran of law enforcement and has already shared with me new ideas and a fresh perspective on moving the organizations forward,” Lagerbloom said.