- Faith & Family
Adam Burden, II, the former assistant chief of police, has become a finalist among 10 applicants now being considered for the position of chief of the City of Miami police department. Should Burden be chosen as the City of Miami’s next police chief, he will become the fourth Black chief of police in the City’s history — following trailblazers that include first Clarence Dickson, then Perry Anderson and Calvin Ross.
Burden was born and raised in the Liberty City and Brownsville areas of Miami. He graduated from Miami Springs High School in 1983. He received his undergraduate degree from Barry University and then earned a masters degree in management from St. Thomas University. Burden is also a graduate of the Southern Police Institute at the University of Louisville’s administrative officers course.
But at home, even a former assistant police chief must answer to the authorities. He is married to Franzia Brea-Burden, who is herself a police commander with the North Miami Police Department. The couple have three children.
Clearly public service is something that runs in his blood — his brother Kevin is a lieutenant with the federal prison system while his brother Keith is a sergeant with the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Department. It was a trip to a college job fair that started the Miami native on the road to law enforcement.
“I spoke to the officer who was working the booth and I was very impressed,” he said. “The rest, as they say, is history.”
Burden began his career with the Miami Police Department in 1987, working in every division and steadily climbed through the ranks, until he retired in 2010 as an assistant chief of police.
If the City of Miami names Burden as its next “top cop,” Burden says his initial priority would be to unify the department.
“I would also improve police-community relations by expanding community-oriented crime fighting strategies [by] creating a department that is transparent to the people that we serve. I am of this community. It’s where I grew up. I believe I am the right choice at this time to lead this department. I would be proud to serve as chief of police.”
Burden’s making the top ten is a feat of significance. A selection committee began with 71 applicants for the job. Nearly 50 had already submitted their applications before former Chief Exposito was fired. The other nine finalists are from various police departments and law enforcement offices in Florida, Maryland, New York and Connecticut.
By Gregory W. Wright