Thursday, April 8, 2010

Miami New Times Article April 8, 2010

A local advertising circular for real estate, restaurants and adult services, The Miami New Times, squeezed another article in about North Bay Village and our police. Click here for the article. The purple prose intro by Francisco Alvarado (a Jacobean drama? Seriously?) starts the story with "It all began about a year and half ago..." and then jumps back six years to 2004.

The story itself is a rehash of the ongoing argument in the NBVPD between the two unions, the FOP and the PBA. Some don't like the other union. Alvarado deserves some credit here, for the first time, he decided to talk to the City Manager, from whom he learned that the complaint about promotions was taken seriously and the plan was dropped, the CM took action on cops initiating an informal internal affairs investigation without proper authority, suspended a cop who was witnessed assaulting another cop, suspended the assault victim for not reporting the fight and suspended a cop for inappropriate behavior towards a citizen.

Now all of this stuff is troubling. It points to a department that needs major changes, but Alvarado still tries to spin this like it was somehow a problem with the city administration and not with the police. Armando Aguilar's statement, "It is total mayhem over there.", is near true but the issue is with the unions fighting, not the city.

Years ago, I was involved with a program for homeless teens. The first lesson I had to learn in dealing with these kids, who had real problems, was not to get drawn into the teen drama. They may have even been right in their complaints but required adult supervision. Our police department has reached this point. The next chief has to be able to say, "I don't care who started it. It stops now. Let's get back to work."

Unions are valid. They are needed to protect civil and police employees from the vagaries of political processes and poor management. The unions however are not the business of the citizens and they don't run the city. We don't need or even care about the drama.

It looks to me like the cops have too much time on their hands here. You know, time they might spend patrolling, stopping cars as they roll through stop signs, catching speeders on the causeway, checking the place out, getting out on the bicycles and seeing what's going on. You remember, police work.

Kevin Vericker

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