Friday, January 8, 2016

Carlos Noriega Sat Down With Me

On Tuesday, the commission will vote on whether to confirm the contract for the proposed police chief, Carlos Noriega, the former police chief of Miami Beach.  Noriega took some time in his interview schedule on Monday to meet with me.  In my last entry, I expressed my concerns about his record of interacting with the community based on the very negative reports in the press.  

I was pleased then when one of the commissioners suggested a meeting that Noriega agreed.  I found him to be open, willing to talk, and not at all condescending like the last police chief, the disastrous Robert Daniels.  To read about the concerns, you can see more here, where the Miami New Times wrote extensively about his handling of three separate incidents in Miami Beach.  

My main question was framed around the Flamingo Park incident and why it took six months to respond.  A simple question that got a simple, verifiable answer.  There was no civilian or police complaint filed after the incident.  It was not until the ACLU served Miami Beach with a lawsuit that the PD was even aware of the incident.  

Side note:  my BS shields were at Yellow with this answer but Noriega explained (and I later verified) that the investigation comes under a state law which prohibits a police investigation if the report is older than 180 days ~6 months.   And I looked up the report and it's true.  

In the aftermath of the incident, Noriega and crew worked tightly with the community to bring Miami Beach to the 21st century.  

The conversation shifted then to community in general and Noriega talked about his record with the PAL, the community outreach, the homeowners associations, crime watch and other subjects.  Noriega has a strong verifiable record in that area.  

This combination, a solid record internally at the Miami Beach PD and a strong outreach to the community will serve us well.  

Robert Daniels destroyed morale in our PD, deliberately cut out the community and left the police department in a shambles.  It won't be easy fixing it and Noriega has his work cut out for him.  But he looks like he's up to the job.  

Kevin Vericker
January 8, 2016

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