Monday, February 11, 2013

Community Policing Means Working with the Community

The much delayed crime watch meeting happened tonight.  Moving with his usual glacial speed whenever it comes to community policing, Chief Daniels finally managed to pull off the meeting a full six weeks after the first poorly delivered community meeting on December 28 last year.  

There was an excellent presentation by Carmen Caldwell of Miami-Dade Crime Watch.  Ms. Caldwell also writes an article in the Herald on Crime Prevention.   Smart, to the point, she clearly knows her subject and it would be a great asset to the community to have her help organize this.  

I doubt that it will happen.  

Chief Daniels has eliminated every community policing North Bay Village had.  He stopped the PAL program, the DARE program, the outreach to the elderly and disabled, and the tradition of having an officer attend condo meetings.  The cops are actively discouraged from talking to the residents and he has refused regularly to meet with the community.  

Daniels was a political hire with a checkered record who was brought in to resolve an ongoing union fight and instead made it worse.  The village is on the  hook for hundreds of thousands of dollars owing to his habit of illegally firing officers for routine management issues,  The Chief has created an atmosphere of suspicion and distrust in the department, and he has nearly completely blocked the community from any involvement.  Heck, Daniels doesn't even bother to provide statistics at most commission meetings and when he does, theyre not the least bit legible.   

By the way, any news on the break in on Adventure that started this latest round?  You know, where the homeowners were in the house and someone broke through a locked window, stole their car keys and then their car?   No, nothing worth noting.  The car was recovered in Homestead but that's about it.   

Maybe this time is different.  Maybe unlike the PAL where dozens of parents pleaded for its continuation, unlike the condo meetings who have no assigned police liaison, unlike the old Ourtreach Program which is still in place if you can figure out how to navigate four full layers of the web page, maybe this time it will work.  

But forgive my cynicism here, I doubt it.   We're on our own. 

Kevin Vericker
February 11, 2013   

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