Shiela Cockfield, RET Sergeant 
City of Miami Police Department

I was hired as a Public Service Aide, and within 6 months, upgraded to Police Officer.  During my 27 years career, in addition to working in patrol, I had the opportunity to work in several specialized units.

In 1993, I was honored to become Miami Police Departments first Black Female K-9 handler.  My K-9 partner “Illo” and I patrolled the streets of Miami for approximately 4 ½ years and assisted in apprehending numerous felony suspects and locating hidden narcotics.  Several notable narcotic finds were K-9 Illo detecting the location of 10 kilos of cocaine hidden inside of a neighborhood market, detecting the location of several kilos of cocaine hidden under the floor on a cargo ship, detecting the location of an elaborate marijuana grow house, and detecting 17 large duffel bags of marijuana hidden in the attic of a residence.

After leaving the K-9 unit, I had the opportunity to work in the Training Unit as a Training and Firearms instructor, and ended my career in Recruitment and Selection as an Investigator/Polygraph Examiner.

My career with the Miami Police Department was very rewarding, and I will always cherish and honor being the first Black Female K-9 Handler.