Mirtha V. Ramos will be the new chief of the DeKalb County Police Department beginning Nov. 4. She is the first woman to lead the county police department, according to county officials.

Mirtha V. Ramos becomes the first woman to lead the DeKalb County Police Department when she takes office Nov. 4. (DeKalb County)

Ramos, a 22-year veteran of the Miami-Dade Police Department,  was selected after a nationwide search was conducted to replace former Police Chief James Conroy, who retired in April 2019.  She will be introduced to the community on Oct. 7 at 10 a.m. at the Manuel J. Maloof Auditorium, 1300 Commerce Drive in Decatur.

“Chief Ramos has embraced community policing as an effective tool to reduce crime and improve public safety,” said county CEO Michael Thurmond in an Oct. 3 press release announcing the hiring. “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 be responsible for leading DeKalb’s nearly 800 sworn police officers and 110 civilian employees and managing the police department’s $95.1 million budget.

At the Miami-Dade Police Department, Ramos rose through the ranks and served as a division chief, major and captain. She was responsible for leading one of the department’s largest divisions consisting of 1,047 employees in four police districts, including the Miami International Airport and Special Patrol Bureau, according to the release.

Her responsibilities at Miami-Dade also included oversight of the Homeland Security, Economic Crimes, Warrants, Narcotics, and Governmental Services bureaus. She was instrumental in growing Miami-Dade’s Youth Outreach Unit, a community-oriented policing initiative focused on trust-building, partnerships and crime prevention, according to the press release.

“Chief Ramos has the knowledge, skill and abilities to develop and sustain strong partnerships that reduce crime,” said county Public Safety Director Jack Lumpkin. “DeKalb County has the right person at the right time.”

Ramos holds a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Lynn University and a master’s degree in psychology of leadership from Penn State. She also attended the International Association of Chiefs of Police Women’s Leadership Institute.

A native of Philadelphia, Pa., Ramos is a Federal Bureau of Investigation National Academy graduate and member of the Miami-Dade County Association of Chiefs of Police.

Dyana Bagby is a staff writer for Reporter Newspapers and Atlanta Intown.