Volume 47, Number 9 - December 14, 2009

About the Reporter

Alexandra de Armas
Alexandra de Armas
North Campus Bureau Chief

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AWARD-WINNING: Thomas Hood, who is retiring as director of basic training at Miami Dade College School of Justice at the end of the fall semester, seems to be humbly pleased with the many awards he has accomplished in his eight-year run.

School of Justice looses two leaders

By Alexandra de Armas

The Miami Dade College School of Justice will lose two of its top officials at the end of the fall semester. 

Ron Grimming, who has served as the school’s director for seven years during three separate stints, has decided to move to California and Thomas Hood, who has served as director of basic training for the past eight years, is retiring.

The school is currently seeking replacements for both positions, Grimming said. Applicants consist of individuals currently at the college, and working at local and out of state police departments.

Meanwhile, school officials described the duo as ethical, intelligent, personable, and driven. Losing that experience, they said, will be tough.

 “With Grimming and Hood leaving, we have a double broken chain of perfection at the School of Justice,” said Regina Ciedentopf, an instructor at the School of Justice.    

Before arriving at MDC, Grimming served as the deputy director of the Illinois State Police Department and the director of the Florida Highway Patrol.

Ciedentopf described Grimming as a very personable man and she recalls that when he first arrived at MDC he went out of his way to meet every single staff and faculty member at the School of Justice.

“He is the epitome of a law enforcement trainer, an educator, and an administrator,” said Debbie Goodman, chairperson of the School of Justice, who added that Grimming has been a great mentor to her throughout her career at MDC. “He has great mentorship, leadership, guidance and direction, and it is very much appreciated.”

Hood, a MDC North Campus alumnus, began his career as a police officer and retired from the field as the chief of police of the North Miami Police Department. He described his experience at MDC as  “wonderful” and said he had “mixed emotions” about leaving.

His co-workers said his departure will be felt.

“I have never met anyone that has more integrity and is more credible than Tom Hood,” said Lt. Donald J. Diecidue, an instructor at the School of Justice, who has known Hood for 38 years.  “He will be greatly missed.”

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