Miami-Dade Police Department Major Gregory Truitt, who has been serving as commander of Palmetto Bay’s Village Policing Unit since 2007, will retire officially on Sept. 30.
Truitt, a member of the Miami-Dade Police Department since 1984, was promoted by the MDPD from lieutenant to major on Aug. 8, 2013.
Anticipating his retirement prompted him to reflect on his 37-year-long career in police work.
“I started my career in March of 1979 working as a corrections officer for Dade County, and in 1981 I went to the City of Coral Gables Police Department,” Commander Truitt said. “I came back in county service in 1984 and have beenhere ever since. I’ve had a number of jobs, all rewarding, in my career.
Truitt said he spent the majority of his time as a police officer working criminal street gangs, eight years doing that until he was promoted to sergeant. He went back to working criminal street gangs for two more years as a supervisor.
“That was very rewarding. I’ve worked every job you can have as a district sergeant. As a lieutenant I was all over the place. I was in charge of animal services and helped turn it into its own separate department. I was there for 18 months. Then I worked in the Intergovernmental Bureau as a lieutenant.”
Palmetto Bay is more than just a workplace for Truitt. He lives in the area, attends a local church and helped coach in the Palmetto Baseball/Softball Association for 10 years. He has been involved with the Boy Scouts of America for 12 years and was the Scoutmaster of Troop 457.
“I also had a number of volunteer positions in the community, and my children went to school in this community, so it allowed me to understand the needs of the people better,” Truitt said. “Half the phone calls that I got I either knew the person or they knew somebody that I knew. They were an associate, a neighbor, somebody that I had coached baseball with, one of those kids we meet at the schools or whatever, and I think from a community-based standpoint in policing, that went a long way to what I consider my great success in this position.”
Truitt has received more than 80 letters of commendation during his career with the MDPD and has been awarded the Silver Medal of Valor, one Exceptional Service Award, two Employee Excellence Awards, one Life Saving Award and was the recipient of the Rotary Club of Perrine-Cutler Ridge/Palmetto Bay 2014- 15 South Dade Leadership Award.
His brother and father also were police officers so his family has been connected with Dade County law enforcement for 60 years. He said that things have improved since his early days, back during the time of the McDuffie riots, the Mariel boatlift and the Cocaine Cowboys murders.
Truitt said he will be staying here for the foreseeable future.
“My son and daughter will graduate high school in a couple of years; I still volunteer for Scouting and will be active in my church,” Truitt said. “I was born and raised here, in the City of Coral Gables actually, so South Florida is my home. I don’t plan on retiring and taking off to the Carolina hills as my counterparts do. I love it down here. I’m retiring, but I will continue to be a police reserve officer with the MDPD and I will work with the Marine Patrol station at Matheson Hammock.”