Meet Mario

Real change is driven by real conversations. Every community deserves a Sheriff’s Office that stands strong, independent, and committed to ensuring that justice prevails for everyone. Over my 27 years in law enforcement, I’ve seen it all and tackled every problem head-on. You can count on me to keep our community safe.

– Mario Knapp

The Experience To Keep Us Safe

Major Mario Knapp (Ret.) is a 27-year veteran of the Miami-Dade Police Department with a track record of operational experience and exemplary leadership. Throughout his career, he oversaw both uniformed and specialized units, trained all levels of personnel, and was instrumental in writing our protocols for mass casualty events and active shooters. And, when tragedy struck, Mario served as Command Post Incident Commander at the Surfside building collapse.

Mario’s grandparents, mother, and aunt fled the oppressive regime of Cuba in pursuit of the American Dream. A Lieutenant in the Cuban army prior to Castro taking power, Mario’s grandfather started a piñata business, while his grandmother worked tirelessly in New York City’s garment factories. The sacrifices, bravery, resilience and hard work of his family members have been a guiding light for Mario, instilling in him the values of determination and service.

As Sheriff, Mario promises to uphold the values of honor and service. He is ready to use his wealth of experience to create a safe and thriving community, working alongside residents to build a future of justice and opportunity.

A Legacy of Service

Major Mario Knapp (Ret.) is a career-long member of the Miami-Dade Police Department. In his 27 years serving the Community, Knapp (Ret.) served in many different capacities, including his last assignment where he oversaw:

  • Tactical Operations Section (Special Response Team, Dignitary Protection Unit, Bomb Squad, K-9 Unit, Incident Management Team, Rapid Deployment Force)
  • Police Operations Section (General Investigations Unit, Uniform Patrol, Transit Unit)
  • Special Events and Planning Section (Aviation Unit, Marine Patrol Unit, Motors Unit, Underwater Recovery Unit)

Knapp served as Acting Chief of the Public Information and Education Bureau, Media Relations Section and Community Affairs Section.

As Knapp rose through the ranks at the Miami-Dade Police Department, where he held every civil service rank within the department, he served as Captain of the Warrants Bureau, the Kendall and Northside Districts, where he coordinated all police functions, including the Community Advisory Councils.

While assigned to the Miami-Dade Police Training Bureau, he supervised and oversaw all in-service and advanced departmental training matters including tactical and force-related training programs within the department and acted as the departmental use of force expert for Miami-Dade County.

Knapp headed the department’s TASER CEW, Defensive Tactics and Firearms program. In the rank of Lieutenant, Knapp was the platoon commander of the Robbery Intervention Detail, the department’s violent crime suppression initiative.

Knapp is a member of the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF), Florida Sheriff’s Association, holds a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice Management, and is a graduate of the PERF Senior Management Institute for Policing.