Rafael Lopez was born in Havana, Cuba and came to the United States as a young child, in 1962. Rafael grew up in Dade County and moved to Broward County in 1990. He has been married for 34 years.
He is a veteran of the United States Armed Forces and was honorably discharged from the United States Marine Corps.
Rafael holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Florida International University. He is also a graduate of the Southern Police Institute’s, 22nd Command Officer’s Development Program and Nova Southeastern University’s, Institute for Criminal Justice Studies, 14thExecutive Leadership Program.
He started his law enforcement career in 1979 with the North Miami Beach Police Department and worked there until 1990. He was recruited by MasterCard International, as an International Security Officer. His region included the Southeast United States, South and Central America, and the Caribbean. He was hired by the Cooper City Police Department in 1994 and the department merged with the Broward County Sheriff’s Office, in 2004. He retired, as a Lieutenant, in 2015, after 33 years of Law Enforcement service.
Rafael has been involved with many professional and community organizations throughout his career: ASPIRA of Florida, Broward County Diversity Advisory Council, Broward Schools ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) Leadership Council, Collier-Lee Honor Flight, Cuban-Americans for a Better Florida, Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition of Broward County, and is a Founding Member of The Hispanic Vote.
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