DeKalb County names new police chief, first woman to lead department

DeKalb County has named a longtime veteran of the Miami-Dade Police Department as its new police chief.

Mirtha V. Ramos will be chief of the DeKalb County Police Department starting Nov. 4, the county announced Thursday. She replaces former chief James Conroy, who retired in April.

She will be the first female police chief in DeKalb County history, officials said.

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Ramos served in the Miami-Dade Police Department for 22 years, rising through the ranks to become a captain, major and division chief, the county said in a statement. She was the division chief for both the north operations and special investigations divisions in Miami, where she oversaw more than 1,000 employees in four police districts.

She also helped grow Miami-Dade’s Youth Outreach Unit, a community-oriented policing initiative.

“Chief Ramos has embraced community policing as an effective tool to reduce crime and improve public safety,” DeKalb CEO Michael Thurmond said in a statement. “She is an innovative leader who brings a wealth of experience, training and professionalism to this important position. I am confident that our new police chief will dedicate herself to advancing DeKalb County’s public safety priorities.”

Ramos will run a department of 800 sworn officers and 110 civilian employees and manage the department’s $95.1 million budget.

The county conducted a nationwide search after Conroy announced his retirement. Public Safety Director Jack Lumpkin has been serving as the acting police chief since then.

“Chief Ramos has the knowledge, skill and abilities to develop and sustain strong partnerships that reduce crime,” Lumpkin said in a statement. “DeKalb County has the right person at the right time.”

She is set to be formally introduced at a 10 a.m. Monday press conference at the Manuel J. Maloof Auditorium in Decatur.

A native of Philadelphia, Ramos has a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Lynn University in Boca Raton and a master’s degree from Penn State University in psychology of leadership.

She is also a graduate of the FBI’s National Academy. After she returned to Miami following the 10-week program in Quantico, Virginia last year, the department wrote on Facebook that she is a “compassionate, no-nonsense, hands on leader, who believes in mentoring others.”

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