You can officially call him Chief Raleigh Flowers.
The Miami native’s 20-year law enforcement career spans from court bailiff, to Hialeah police major, to now the first African-American police chief in Bal Harbour’s history.
“It’s a very blessed moment in life," Flowers said. "I never thought when I started out in my law enforcement career that I would rise to the level of chief, particularly here in Bal Harbour village”
Surrounded by officers from all over South Florida, and his wife, kids and grandkids, Flowers spoke to a crowd at the St. Regis Hotel ballroom on Wednesday about his commitment to the community.
But behind the scenes, his department has been through tragedy.
“We’ve had our challenges," Flowers said. "I don’t know any agency in the South Florida region that has been through what we’ve been through.”
Flowers became emotional while he talked about his former mentors and friends.
Chief Mark Overton died in 2016 of a heart attack at just 53 years old in January. His replacement, chief Miguel de las Rosa, died at 49 of cancer.
“We’ve barely had time to grieve the losses of two great men but through it all this agency has bonded together," Flowers said.