‘A cop’s cop’: Former Miami-Dade Police Director endorses Rosie Cordero-Stutz for Sheriff

‘She has always commanded the respect and admiration of her peers, including mine.’

Retired Police Director Juan Perez knows what it takes to lead the largest police department in the southeastern United States, and he believes no one is better suited to doing so than Rosie Cordero-Stutz.

Perez, who spent nearly 30 years with the Miami-Dade Police Department, including four years leading the agency from 2016 to 2020, is endorsing Cordero-Stutz to be the county’s first Sheriff in more than half a century.

“As our department transitions into a Sheriff’s Office, it is critical we elect a Sheriff that is ready for duty on Day 1,” he said in a video posted to YouTube.

“In my professional opinion, there is only one candidate that has the qualifications to do the job, and that candidate is Rosie Cordero-Stutz. I have known and worked with Rosie for her entire career. She has always commanded the respect and admiration of her peers, including mine. Rosie’s a cop’s cop, through and through.”

Perez’s Wednesday nod to Cordro-Stutz — a 27-year veteran of the police force now serving as Assistant Director of Support Services overseeing several administrative departments — is the second high-profile endorsement she’s received in the past month.

U.S. Rep. Carlos Giménez, a fellow Republican who served as Miami-Dade Mayor from 2011 to 2020, announced on Feb. 20 that he is backing her bid. He similarly said Cordero-Stutz, who is overseeing the Police Department’s transition to a Sheriff’s Office in early 2025, “can lead with a vision for a safer Miami-Dade County on Day 1.”

Miami-Dade hasn’t had an elected Sheriff since 1966, when county voters eliminated the position after a grand jury report revealed rampant corruption within the department. Instead, Miami-Dade has a Police Director, who is appointed by and reports to the Mayor.

That arrangement is changing this year. In 2018, 58% of Miami-Dade voters joined a statewide supermajority in approving a constitutional amendment requiring all 67 counties in Florida to have an elected Sheriff, Tax Collector, Property Appraiser and Clerk of Courts by early 2025.

Seventeen candidates are now running for Sheriff.

Four are Democrats: Miami-Dade Police Major John Barrow; federal agent-turned community activist Susan Khoury; retired Miami-Dade Lt. Rickey Mitchell; and Miami-Dade Chief of Public Safety James Reyes, who has overseen the county’s Police, Corrections and Fire Rescue Departments since he left the Broward Sheriff’s Office last year.

Current Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava has endorsed Reyes for Sheriff.

Republican candidates for the post include lawyer and former police officer Ignacio “Iggy” Alvarez; Miami-Dade Police Major Jose Aragu; Miami-Dade Police officer Jaspen Bishop; Miami City Police officer Ruamen DelaRua; retired Miami-Dade Police reserve officer Alex Fornet; former Miami Police Department Hostage Negotiator Jeffrey Giordano; retired Miami-Dade Police Major Mario Knapp; Miami-Dade Police Sgt. Orlando “Orly” Lopez; Miami-Dade Police officer Rolando Riera; retired Miami-Dade Police sergeant and police union President John Rivera; retired Miami-Dade Police officer Ernie Rodriguez; and Florida Highway Patrol Trooper Joe Sanchez.

The 2024 Primary Election is Aug. 20, followed by the General Election on Nov. 5.

Jesse Scheckner

Jesse Scheckner has covered South Florida with a focus on Miami-Dade County since 2012. His work has been recognized by the Hearst Foundation, Society of Professional Journalists, Florida Society of News Editors, Florida MMA Awards and Miami New Times. Email him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @JesseScheckner.


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