Ex-Houston PD internal affairs commander becomes 1st woman to serve as Miami PD deputy chief

Heather R. Morris became the first woman to serve as deputy chief of police in the history of the Miami Police Department.

Morris, former assistant police chief at the Houston Police Department, is overseeing MPD’s field operations, criminal investigations, and administrative divisions, and she is tasked with developing a cohesive environment.

“Heather is a person that was my internal affairs commander in Houston,” Chief Art Acevedo said on Monday during a promotion’s ceremony at the Miami Police College.

Deputy Chief Heather R. Morris, Assistant Chief Thomas Carroll, Comdr. Brandon Lanier, Cmdr. Kimberly Caruso, Chief of Staff Joelle Lee-Silcox, Sgt. Mario Figueroa and Sgt. Kareena Vega get promoted on Monday at the Miami Police College.

Acevedo focused on honoring Morris and six others: The new assistant chief, Thomas Carroll; two new commanders, Cmdr. Brandon Lanier, Cmdr. Kimberly Caruso; the new chief of staff to his executive staff, Joelle Lee-Silcox; and two new patrol sergeants, Sgt. Mario Figueroa and Sgt. Kareena Vega.

Morris replaced Ronald Papier, the former deputy chief who lost his job in June after an internal affairs investigation into an alleged coverup. The probe stemmed from a crash in April involving his wife, former Comdr. Nerly Papier.

Acevedo, who left the Houston Police Department after holding the position for about five years and was sworn in as MPD chief in April, declined to comment about the Papiers on Monday. Jorge Colina, Miami’s former chief of police, retired in February.

Related social media

Congratulations to the new leaders of @MiamiPD, Deputy Chief Heather R. Morris, Assistant Chief Thomas Carroll, Commander Brandon Lanier, Commander Kimberly Caruso, Chief of Staff Joelle Lee-Silcox, Sergeant Mario Figueroa and Sergeant Kareena Vega. Congratulations! @ArtAcevedo pic.twitter.com/mjWYidYN0c

— Miami PD (@MiamiPD) August 16, 2021

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