Shanika A. Graves, Section Head
The Public Safety Section provides legal counsel to the Board of County Commissioners, County Mayor, and to Miami-Dade County's public safety departments and offices, which include the: (1) Miami-Dade Police Department, the seventh largest police department in the nation; (2) Miami-Dade Corrections & Rehabilitation Department, the eighth largest jail system in the nation; (3) Juvenile Services Department, which processes all arrested juveniles in the County and provides a continuum of comprehensive services to youth and their families; (4) Emergency Management Department, which collaborates and coordinates disaster preparedness activities, plans, recovery, and responses with County, municipal, and other public and private entities; (5) Medical Examiner Department, which is responsible for death investigative services in the County; (6) Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Department, which serves the County and 29 municipalities with response units dedicated to air, ocean and fire rescue operations, hazardous materials, urban search and rescue, technical rescue, and venom response; and (7) the Community Action and Human Services Department Office of Neighborhood Safety, which works to address gun violence, revitalize public spaces, and improve community infrastructure. We also provide advice and counsel to several County advisory and quasi-judicial boards, including boards that fall under the Office of Community Advocacy, the Addiction Services Board, Dade Miami Criminal Justice Council, Fire Prevention and Safety Appeals Board, Public Safety Coordinating Council, Reentry Council, Youth Commission, and Youth Task Force.
Our attorneys provide a wide array of legal services to these departments, offices, and boards, including litigating matters on their behalf and drafting legislation, contracts and other agreements, as well as reviewing and interpreting documents, statutes, and other regulations. We have provided legal guidance to create, enhance and expand a host of innovative safety programs that benefit County residents and visitors especially youth, including the Summer Youth Internship Program, Anti-Violence Initiative, Gun Violence Intervention Program, Juvenile Services Department's Prevention Program, the Civil Citation Program, the Independent Civilian Panel, and the Peace and Prosperity Plan. We have also worked on initiatives with the Military Affairs Advisory Board to support and recognize men and women in the United States Armed Forces. Further, during any natural or manmade disaster, including major weather events, our lawyers are often found at the Emergency Operations Center or on the scene of the disaster and are constantly available for consultation with members of the Board of County Commissioners, County Mayor, and County staff. Our lawyers have also consulted with County staff on safety plans and other operational matters for some of the largest events in the County, such as Formula One, the Miami Open, NASCAR at the Homestead Speedway, the Orange Bowl, and the Super Bowl.
The following are attorneys who specialize in this practice area: