Police Chief Recalls Immigrating To Miami

Apr 8, 2014

Ian Moffett after being sworn in as Miami Dade Schools Police Chief with his wife and son.

This story, as told by Ian Moffett, is part of an oral history series. 

I was born in Georgetown, Guyana, which is the only English-speaking country in South America. At the age of 6, my parents migrated to Toronto, Canada.  

I remember my love for police work came from that tall police officer who visited my third grade classroom for career day. His uniform and command presence stood out the most and left a visual imprint or what I refer to as a personal vision. 

In 1985, I came to Miami with my family and it was here that I started my public service career. One year after graduating from Miami Southridge Senior High School, I enlisted in the U.S. Army and spent three years as an infantry soldier. I then was hired by the state of Florida as a correctional officer at South Florida Reception Center and I was subsequently hired by Miami-Dade Schools Police Department as a police officer. 

I was working there in the position of captain when the City of Miami Police Department offered me a position as police major to lead and manage the Miami Police College, and certainly this was something I could not refuse.  I saw this as an opportunity to grow and learn. 

Then, I saw the chance of re-joining the Miami-Dade Schools Police Department as the Chief of Police.  I felt that this was an opportunity that I could not pass up and to finalize my law enforcement career and personal mission.  I was working for City of Miami Police Department; when Superintendent Alberto M. Carvalho offered me a chance to lead the police department for the fourth largest educational district in the United States.

When I left Guyana with my parents and sister, I would never imagine that I would be where I am today. My parents had the strength to migrate from not just one country but two countries. 

We are lucky to live, work, and recreate in a beautiful city with people from many different cultures which makes me realize that our differences can be the glue that holds us together.  

Miami Stories is a project by WLRN, the Miami Herald, el Nuevo Herald and HistoryMiami. To share your story, click here.

Credit HistoryMiami