Veteran law enforcement officer Armando Guzman has been tabbed as the new chief of public safety at Miami Dade College Kendall Campus.
Guzman, 53, has worked at the City of Miami Police Department for more than 30 years. On Feb. 14, he accepted the top public safety position at Kendall Campus.
Carlos Tinoco had served as the interim chief of public safety for the past 18 months. He will remain as the assistant chief of public safety.
Guzman rose through ranks to become a major in the special operations section at the City of Miami Police Department.
“I wanted to work [here] because I feel that I can bring my background and experience,” Guzman said.
“I can enhance the level of protection and service to both student and faculty members.”
Guzman, who graduated from MDC in 1978, also wanted to return to his roots.
“If my father were still alive, he’d have said I wanted to be a police officer ever since I was a child,” Guzman said. “Of course when you’re a child, your idea of what it means to be an officer is very different from the reality. Eighty five percent to almost 90 percent of what it is to be a police officer is just helping people with regular problems, like giving them directions. Only a small percentage of time is dedicated to combating crime.”
During his time as an officer, Guzman answered many 911 calls including some from people claiming to have been followed by the CIA, others said they saw aliens, or spoke to God.
At MDC, Guzman said he wants to make the public safety office more efficient, specifically with keeping student’s safe and serving their needs.
“To a regular person, a thing like graffiti is just graffiti. But to an officer it is a code, it can say a number of things,” Guzman said. “An officer knows how to use this knowledge in keeping people safe. That’s what I would like to bring to Miami Dade. But it’s still too early to say what will or won’t be implemented.”
He said he is still introducing his ideas to campus officials.
“We had a strong pool of applicants,” said Kendall Campus President Lourdes Oroza. “But [Armando Guzman’s] experience and commendable work record is what made us choose him.”