Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer may soon have to find a new police chief. Multiple sources close to Mina, have told OPO the city’s top cop, may announce his run for Orange County sheriff in the coming days.
Jerry Demings, the current sheriff of Orange County, is running for mayor and has to resign his post as sheriff in order to do so. Because of that, Mina’s named has been rumored as a possible candidate to replace Demings, and he may finally bring life to the hearsay.
We interviewed Chief Mina last year
Mina has served as police chief since April of 2014 and has had his fair share of problems on the job. Last year, Mina was the face of grief and tragedy for his officers as they mourned the loss of Lt. Debra Clayton. Through the tragedy of losing Clayton, Mina got into a minor squabble with State Attorney Aramis Ayala over her decision not to seek the death penalty for Clayton’s killer.
He’s also been admonished publically by some members of the community regarding charges of police brutality against his officers. It got so bad that Mina issued a directive to his department to use “only the minimal amount of force necessary.”
After an investigative report by the Orlando Sentinel, the paper found that the department used force “more than double the rate of some other agencies.”
But in Mina’s defense, he didn’t take the feedback lightly and attempted to change the perceived culture of the department.
What he’ll find in running for an elected position is that his record as police chief will be used in his favor and against him as well. The jurisdiction that he’s responsible for will be much larger, and he’ll be tasked with lowering crime in areas like Pine Hills and southeast Orlando, an area of unincorporated Orange County.
Mina’s party affiliation is also in question. Because the county has a large amount of registered Democrats, and all constitutional officers are partisan, and Democrats at the moment, Mina’s party choice will be an important factor in his candidacy.
Can Mina raise money for a campaign? Will his donor base be diverse enough to attract support from both parties?
All of this will come to light if he does announce his candidacy this week. He’ll be the biggest name in the race and may turn out to be the frontrunner if he can keep others out of the race.