Juan J. Perez retired from a law enforcement career on January 12, 2020, after dedicating his entire professional life to law enforcement. In 1990, he began his career as a police officer with the Miami-Dade Police Department, and rose through the ranks to attain the highest level rank of Director, when he was appointed to lead the agency in February 2016. Upon taking office, Mr. Perez had a vision for the agency which he shared with Department personnel, sworn and civilian, as well as the entire Miami-Dade County community: addressing gun violence, especially youth related shootings; recruitment of qualified, diverse personnel to lead the agency into the future; and enhancing the agency’s technologies to improve effectiveness and efficiency.

In working to address gun violence and youth related shootings, Mr. Perez implemented a number of new initiatives, which combine a hands-on approach to working with stakeholders and community members, using recognized best practices, a commitment to community policing, and law enforcement knowledge and experience. In addition, new technologies were implemented successfully, including Body-Worn Cameras for improved transparency, ShotSpotter and License Plate Readers to address gun violence, and enhanced video for the Real-Time Crime Center to monitor events in real time. Mr. Perez was proactive in revising internal policies to maximize public and officer safety, with particular attention to the Use of Force Policy as it pertains to deadly force. The policy revision was based on best practices recommended nationally by the Police Executive Research Forum, and Department data compared to national trends. Mr. Perez strongly believed the Miami-Dade Police Department was and continues to be a model law enforcement agency, committed to professionalism, dedication to service, strong community relationships and partnerships, and that the men and women of the agency “change lives for the better, making a positive difference.”

On March 2, 2020, Mr. Perez was hired as the Vice President/Director of Public Safety for the Ocean Reef Community Association. He is tasked with the safety and security of the exclusive Ocean Reef Community and Club, nestled in North Key Largo, FL. Currently, he oversees the activities of approximately 60 members of Public Safety, including the Fire Department, 911 Dispatch Center, Front Gate and Access Control, Waterway Security, and Patrol Functions. He has applied previous police executive experiences to develop COVID-19 emergency response to the pandemic, emergency preparedness plan for hurricane season, and opened lines of communication with Monroe County Emergency Management and other external resources. He has begun to change the culture from a strict security minded approach to a customer service centric approach, building relationships to enhance security efforts.

Mr. Perez has a Bachelor’s degree in Organizational Leadership from St. Thomas University and an Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Miami-Dade College. Mr. Perez furthered his education and professional career by attending the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) National Academy (Session 256), National Executive Institute (Session 42), Major Cities Chiefs Association’s Police Executive Leadership Institute, Florida International University Chapmanville Leadership Development Program, and FBI Leadership in Counter-Terrorism Training. He serves as Past President of the Police Officer Assistance Trust, a Countywide non-profit organization which helps officers and families in need; is the Chairman on the Commission for Florida Accreditation, Inc.; and previously served on many other boards actively advancing law enforcement, criminal justice, and the community, to include the International Association of Chiefs of Police’s Committee on Terrorism.  

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