Military veteran, retired police captain, and recent member of the Florida House (2016-2018), Robert Asencio has centered his life around support for those people, policies, and practices that deliver the promise of America to each and every community. Born in Brooklyn, he arrived in Miami at age 14 after spending several years in Puerto Rico, his parents’ birthplace. The next year, while still in high school, he started a business, Asencio Enterprises, Inc., and learned the first of many valuable lessons: that successful entrepreneurship, like life, is based on developing and maintaining good relationships, and that treating people fairly and honestly, regardless of their circumstances, is paramount.
This lesson held true during the six years Robert spent in the U.S. Army Reserves as a member of the Special Operations community, as he and the other members of the “Miami Ice” team braved the frigid temperatures of Alaska and overcame vast challenges abroad in support of US global interests and democratic nations at risk. It held true for the next twenty-six years, as he rose in the ranks of the Miami-Dade Schools Police from rookie to captain, accumulating along the way practical, actionable skills: how to break down barriers between law enforcement officers and the communities they serve; how to manage complex multi-jurisdiction local, state and federal criminal investigations; how to command police stations; how to lead investigative and public corruption units responsible for holding officers and government officials accountable. Robert’s ability to cultivate and build upon good relationships proved invaluable during his service in the Florida Legislature, as he crossed the aisle repeatedly to seek common ground in the interest of ordinary Floridians, in particular with respect to changing state priorities to better support economic growth, business development, workforce training, and individual prosperity.
A graduate of St. Thomas University with a B.A. in organizational leadership, in 2011 Robert founded Florida Public Employees, a not for profit corporation dedicated to advocating on behalf of Florida’s over 1 million public sector workers. He later served as founder and first elected President of the South Florida Chapter of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), and as a member of the respective Boards of FOP Lodge #133, Teamsters Local #769, the Zambrano Foundation, and FAIR.
Robert brings to Miami Cop Talk not only a vast array of contacts in the public and private sectors, but also first-hand knowledge of the essentials of good governance: policy creation; stakeholder buy-in; enactment of law; legislative appropriations and government procurement protocols; constituent outreach; successful campaigning. He possesses superb negotiating skills, and the knack for making those he meets feel at ease. In short, Robert sees the big picture, but knows the importance of coordinating each detail in achieving a successful outcome.