"I don't think the race matters", said David Evans, a 74-year-old black Ferguson resident who attended the swearing-in ceremony. A judge last month approved Ferguson's settlement with the U.S. Justice Department to amend the municipal code, eliminate bias and reform the courts and police department.
Then, in his first remarks to Ferguson officers as their new boss, Moss delivered a stern warning. He is tasked with helping rebuild the Ferguson Police Department following riots and federal intervention after the 2014 shooting death of African-American teenager Michael Brown by a white police officer.
Delrish Moss, a veteran of the Miami police seen as an expert in community policing, was brought in to try to restore the community's confidence in the authorities.
To the city's police officers, he said: "If you work hard, if you stay honest and committed, if you maintain respect for the community and do your job well, we will get along just fine". It was in that year that Elian Gonzalez was forcibly deported back to Cuba by the United States at the request of the Cuban government.
Moss, who was hired as a Miami police officer in 1984 and has a deep background in public relations, has stated plans to launch a mentorship program and increase diversity, noting that only 3 or 4 of the department's 54 officers are black.
Moss spent his entire 32-year career with Miami police.
Still, he made a decision to become a police officer and joined the Miami force in 1984.
Moss will replace Andre Anderson, who is also African-American but who was only hired on an interim basis to replace former police chief Thomas Jackson. But a recent Associated Press review of the nation's 20 largest police departments found that many have been slow to adopt or expand their use of body cameras.
"A lot of answers lie in Ferguson, not necessarily from some magic pill that I'm going to bring to the city", Moss told KSDK-TV in an interview shortly before he was sworn in on Monday.
In its scathing report previous year, the Justice Department highlighted a policing system that uses arrest warrants to make money out of residents. "The biggest challenge is that, ingrained in the American fabric there is a disconnect between the African-American community and the police department". Ferguson erupted into violent protests after a grand jury chose not to indict the white officer, Darren Wilson. It "could be the kind of information you might not want out there". "That to me is a good thing because that makes me feel like I'm home".
He was motivated to become a police officer by an incident in which a Miami police officer stopped and frisked him for no apparent reason, according to a March article about him in the Herald.