In an explosive Miami New Times article, investigative reporter Tim Elfrink examines how the Miami Beach Police Department has the highest rate of officers in South Florida making more than $100,000 a year.
He also points out how several of these officers are accused criminals, with one of them caught on video shoplifting from the store he was supposedly guarding to another charged with kidnapping and torturing a man in an attempt to extort $100,000.
The article also points out how Miami Beach police have been accused of harassing gay men, including one incident that was caught on a 911 dispatch tape and another incident where the same cop killed two unarmed men in a period of four days.
Naturally, some officers took the article personal, including Miami Beach Police spokesman Juan Sanchez, who is usually even-tempered and good-natured.
Not this time, however. A few paragraphs below is a lengthy comment Sanchez posted in response to the article.
The one part I found particularly interesting is when he mentioned how it is “mandatory” for officers to attend court on their days off or face getting written up.
I wonder if Officer David Socarras, who arrested me last year for photographing him against his wishes, was written up when he failed to attend my trial last week. Probably not considering how much the department allows other officers to get away with.
Socarras also failed to attend the first scheduled trial, even though my attorney says Miami Beach cops always show up to court.
It’s really worth reading the entire article. And then read Sanchez’s comment afterward, which I reposted below. I just wish he would learn to use paragraphs:
I really was hoping this time the New Times got it right, but it seems again that they are on a one way smear campaign against the Miami Beach Police Department. I wonder who is banking your payroll to do so. Lets see just in the past 360 days, MBPD has had to deal with a President coming into town at the last minute, a Vice President coming in two days later, News Years Celebration with over 70 special events, ProBowl, Superbowl, Orange Bowl, White Party, Sleepless Nights, Winter Party, Art Basel, Boat Show, Spring Break, Art Deco Weekend oh yeah we are now preparing for Winter Music Conference, Memorial Day Weekend, Fourth of July, what? do you really expect no extra Officers on the street, I get it lets pull the guys off of road patrol to handle the details and leave the city to run amuck. Oh!!! Wait better yet you expect MBPD to work for free. Lets not forget the movie shoots, models shoots, consruction, court on days off (which is mandatory). Wait I am forgetting something, Hurricane Season is quickly closing in; do you expect us to have our days off cancled and work 12 hour shifts (which is what happens during some of the above mentioned occasions) without pay for this too. You failed to mention the officers in your article work shifts where there is no court and spend most of thier free time attending court. See if we dont show up for court our cases get thrown out and we face get written up. Do the math work all night spend a couple hours in court then try to make it home deal with every day issues and sometimes you call off sick because you just cant fucntion anymore for that one day. Oh yeah lets do court for free too. Sgt Feldman works the Robbery Squad, which works round the clock solving these cases and have an amzaing clearance rate. You just cant say Ill put these leads aside and follow them later, it doesnt work when you try to capture bad guys..Yeah that couldnt make it in your article because it wouldnt suit your cause, they have also been acknowledge as one of the leading Squads in the county, The eye glass and sun glass comment, re-read the paperwork its a courtesy REPLACEMNT if they are broken on duty. I just cant walk up to a special counter and order a pair of Oakleys or my contacts for free. You state our solving crimes rate is low, why dont you compare the amount reported here in our city as to those in other areas; it makes a difference in calculations, thats right it doesnt fit the smutt in yor article nor would it fit your smear campaign. BTW the over all numbers ae down. The bit about 26 days off a year, including our birthday ALL city employees get that not just the cops. Now lets compare salries, anyone can do it, its public record, City Manager over $10,000 bi weekly, City Attorney over $10,000 bi weekly, Assitant City Manger over $8000 bi weekly, City Engineer over $8000 bi weekly. Try doing some fair reporting about salries if you want to have shock value, dont pick on the people who busts the butts working double shifts to meet man power shortages, spend thier free time away from thier loved ones in court, and close thier doors just before thier shifts not knowing if they just told their love ones good bye for the last time. I am not saying we are perfect but we sure bust our collective asses proctecting the City of Miami Beach. By the way in case you havent realized it yet I am proud member of that organization. Also so you are most aware of I love our Sanitation Department, how they are able to turn this city around night after night and leave it looking the way they door each monrning is absolutely incredible. For that matter all of the Departments do their best and all we ask is in return is to be respected. Its really nice to sit in your cozy little office and write your story (badly I may add) but try coming out and putting your life on the line every week and catch your rag of a news paper insulting us week after week to see what it does to your morale. There are other stories out quit beating a dead horse and find one; I am really curious to see how many more times you can rehash the same ole story. Finally the comment calling Office Chorens a crook after being clear of charges, nice cheap shot. Kudos for being consistent in reporting trash….btw thats not my comment its what the real professional journalist consider your reporterting to be.