Timoney’s appointment as police chief in the Florida city was announced last weekend. His elevation to the top job in Miami was in stark contrast to the recent high-profile competition to lead the police force in Los Angeles.
Timoney was one of three finalists in a heavily publicized search for a chief. That job eventually went to William Bratton. Timoney had served as a number two to Bratton when Bratton was police commissioner of New York.
The Florida appointment, by contrast, came as a surprise to many.
“They approached me about a month and a half ago,” Timoney said Tuesday. “The Miami job is a big challenge. It’s tough but doable.”
Timoney said that he would take up his new position on Jan.2.
After his term as first deputy commissioner in New York, Timoney, who is 54, served as police commissioner in Philadelphia. Over the last couple of years he has been working in the private security field as chief executive of Beau Dietl & Associates in New York.
Timoney, however, has consistently made plain his continued desire to work in policing.
In Miami, he will inherit a force that has been going through turbulent times.
“Widely respected for his administrative skills, he [Timoney] inherits a department mired in controversy,” the New York Times reported in a story on Timoney’s elevation to the Miami post.
Much of the turmoil centers on allegations of police brutality and insensitivity to minorities.
Timoney said that he would be taking an early look at use-of-force procedures in the Miami force and would be making an effort to reach out to minority residents of the city.