CHERISE GAUSE: Recognized as first Haitian American woman North Miami Police chief. PHOTO COURTESY OF FACEBOOK

North Miami, Fla. – In August 2023, Cherise Gause became the first Haitian American woman police chief for North Miami, and previously was the first woman of Haitian descent to serve as the assistant police chief for the City of Miami.

With a law enforcement career that spans 31 years, Gause rose through the ranks first as a dispatcher, patrol officer, sergeant, lieutenant, captain, major and assistant chief, all with the City of Miami.

She now oversees more than 100 sworn officers and personnel staff to serve the 10-square mile city of North Miami’s population of 60,000.

After taking on the role as the 15th police chief in North Miami history, Gause was recognized by the city as part of Women’s History Month, and the Haitian American Chamber of Commerce for making history.

"For Women’s History Month we would like to highlight our very own Chief Cherise Giordani Gause, the first Haitian American female Police Chief in North Miami," the city said on social media.

"Chief Gause began her career with the Miami Police Department in 1993 as a dispatcher and progressively ascended through the ranks. During her tenure, she held assignments that spanned Field Operations, Administration, and Criminal Investigations.

“She is passionate about public safety, community policing and constitutional policing."

Gause was also honored by the Haitian American Chamber of Commerce of Florida for her milestone achievement, and a law enforcement career that has inspired other women in the field.

The organization called her a "Community Champion."

"This is a personal achievement for me … it means a lot," Gause said. "I am honored to serve the community as a police officer and you have my full commitment.

"This is a testament to young girls, Black, white, Hispanic, and people that aspire to have a career in law enforcement, that they, too, can achieve this level of leadership."

Gause was one of only three women in the 126-year history of Miami policing to reach the rank of assistant police chief.

She oversaw 1,000 officers in field operations, led criminal investigations and managed the agency’s almost $300 million budget.

When Gause left the Miami Police Department to be the top cop in North Miami, Miami Police Chief Manny Morales said he had mixed reactions about her new role.

He said he hated to lose her but at the same time was happy for her new endeavors in her law enforcement career.

“She’s absolutely the best candidate for any job,” Morales said. “I had wished I could’ve talked her into staying.”

U.S. Rep. Frederica Wilson, who was on hand for the ceremony when Gause took the oath to become the new chief, said she’s a trailblazer who inspires women to follow their dreams. “As a Haitian American leader with extensive law enforcement experience, I have no doubt she will make our community safe and proud,” Wilson said.

Gause’s contributions extend beyond the police department.

In February, she was among 200 people who gathered in Miami Gardens to honor the memory and birthday of Trayvon Martin, the 17-year-old who was shot and killed in 2012 by George Zimmerman in Sanford, Fla.

The message for participants at the 12th annual Trayvon Martin Peace Walk was to end gun violence, hate and prejudice.

The event also recognized parents who lost their children to gun violence and channeled their grievances into a crusade to curb firearm shootings among teenagers.

Gause was at the rally to show solidarity with Martin’s parents and others whose children died due to gun violence.

Gause, said she attended each of the Martin Peace Walks and that the message gets louder and clearer every year. "It’s a testament to honor Trayvon Martin whose life was cut short but his spirit lives with us," she said. "Trayvon Martin’s death sparked a call for justice and a demand for change."

Gause earned a Master of Science degree in Organizational Leadership, a Bachelor of Public Administration degree, and an associate’s degree in Criminal Justice.

She is also a graduate of the prestigious FBI National Academy, the Senior Management Institute for Police, the Command Officer Development Course from the Southern Police Institute (S.P.I.), and Executive Leadership Institute (PELI).

She is a member of several professional organizations including the Miami-Dade County Association of Chiefs of Police, where she serves on the Community Relations Committee, National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE), National Association of Women Law Enforcement Executives (NAWLEE), Police Executive Research Forum (PERF), and the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP).

Gause is a founding member of the Florida Association of Law Enforcement Professionals.