Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado responded to DowntownMiamiNews’ inquiry regarding the recent police officer situation, where a Miami Police officer hit 122MPH while driving south from Broward to an off-duty police job, in a Police cruiser. He’s made it clear he’s sticking by his prior public statements:
I have made several statements regarding this issue. I have said that no one should drive at that rate of speed and I have said that there is an internal investigation and it will be up to the chief to take action.
While we cannot expect the Mayor to supervise every City of Miami employee, it will be interesting to see what the new acting Police Chief will do with the situation.
Take-Home Car changes to save over $1 million
Mayor Regalado continued with an update on the controversial take-home car situation as well:
In the budget recently approved, which is my responsibility, I addressed the issue of take-home cars (something which hasn’t been done in decades). We are charging police and anyone else with take-home cars 40 cents per mile. That is saving close to a million dollars.
This is incredibly positive news – combined with the 48% reduction under the Miami-Dade purview, will save the area several million dollars a year.
While we will continue to watch the situation regarding Officer Lopez and his mad-dash down the highway, it’s great to hear that the Miami Mayor believes that NO ONE should be driving at that rate of speed. I mean, what if everyone appearing in court the day the officer is scheduled to appear simply says, “I was late getting to my second job your Honor!” I don’t think the judge would be all too happy – and that in essence, is the basis of the officers defense. He didn’t get a ticket for speeding 120 miles an hour, he didn’t get a ticket for endangering public safety. He’s lucky.
While the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) continues to support their officer, the public and media continue to tell the story each and every day. I found the Miami Herald report which discusses the posts on a law-enforcement forum quite eye opening as well. The fact that several of the officers made statements that if Officer Watts of the FHP were to attempt to pull them over, they’d lure her into our jurisdiction and have “his boys” waiting. It’s disturbing that fellow police officers act this way towards each other – within their fraternity of law enforcement officers. According to retired North Miami Police Maj. Bob Lynch, a police instructor, “”It’s the classic thin blue line. One of my buddies gets shafted, and we all think it’s wrong. We’re all going to defend him and sometimes it gets out of hand. It’s childish and it needs to stop.â€