March is here, and we all know what that means, no matter where you’re from, or your ethnicity, we all become Irish for a day. Here is a fun little bit of Irish history for you:
“The first organized police forces in Ireland came about through the Peace Preservation Act in 1814 for which Sir Robert Peel (1788-1850) was largely responsible (the colloquial names “Bobby” and “Peeler” derive from his name Robert and Peel) and the Irish Constabulary Act in 1822 formed the provincial constabularies.”
Last month, while watching the County Commission meeting, the topic of Illegal Dumping was brought up, and some of the Commissioners were upset that not enough enforcement was being done by the MDPD. Ironically, the Commissioners wanted a taskforce formed to combat this problem, which I found most amusing, since the department not that long ago had an Environmental Investigation Section which was disbanded due to budgetary cuts made by some of those who still sit on the Commission today. This Unit was responsible for combating commercial dumping. It covered everything from cruise line companies, who were disposing of their trash overboard into the ocean, to the unscrupulous contractors who would charge clients large sums of money to dispose of their trash. Who in turn would just dump it anywhere they could. This unit made the County millions of dollars, and also benefited by requiring the defendants to do community service hours of picking up trash, as part of their plea agreements.
Unfortunately, this is what happens when budget cuts to vital services take place. A wise man once told me for every action there is a reaction. If we want to look like a world class city then we need our Commissioners to act like world class commissioners. So as we start to prepare for the upcoming budget, I hope that public safety is put at the top of the list. Our Commissioners and local leaders must remember that their actions, do cause reactions. The example of this would be the rush of some elected officials to create an independent review board, the funding for this board will have to come from somewhere. When they support budgets that don't allot for hiring of new officers, or for the replacement of much needed equipment. Then they can't be upset, with the lack of officers on the road, and the deplorable appearance of the cars, which have fading decals, and chunks of paint chipping off.
The body cameras which the County has spent millions of dollars on, have not even begun to play out, and the true cost of the body cameras is still unknown, nor the cost of future litigation, which is sure to come from them. We have a radio system which is still not working efficiently as well, and these are just a few examples of projects started and not seen through to the end. As I started off this conversation, I spoke of the Illegal Dumping Unit MDPD had that was working efficiently, profitable to the community, and maintaining a good quality of life, only to see it cut later so other projects could be started. To now finding us in a position to go back to recreate a unit which the elected officials allowed to be cut to begin with. There is a reason why a car's windshield is larger than the rearview mirror, we need to continue to look forward, but occasionally we must glance in that rearview mirror.
We here at the PBA would like to congratulate Detectives Esteban Minsal and William Arrowsmith for being awarded the Warrants Bureau’s Castillo-Haworth Detectives of the Year. Congratulations, guys, on a job well done!
Congratulations also goes to Shella Diaz on winning this year’s 2017 Homestead Rodeo Queen. Shella's mom is MDPD Police Sergeant, Cheryl Diaz, who works in the Northside District. I know Shella worked very hard for this title. Congratulations again, Shella, on your new title as 2017 Homestead Rodeo Queen.
A big shout out and congratulations to New England Patriot’s running back, James White, for setting all kinds of Super Bowl records. In my opinion, he should have been the MVP of the Super Bowl. James’s dad is MDPD Captain, Tyrone White, who I’m sure is beyond proud of his son.
Back by popular demand, the Dade County PBA, along with the Hispanic Officers Association (HPOA) have teamed up to bring back the saltwater dolphin tournament. The tournament will be taking place June 3rd. This event is not only a fun family event, but the proceeds will benefit the PBA’s Love Fund and the HPOA Foundation, which helps law enforcement families in their time of need. Stay tuned for more information on this event.
So as you go into this month, please enjoy your corned beef and cabbage, shepherd’s pie and any green beverage you wish to partake in. In closing, here’s an old Irish proverb for you. As you slide down the banister of life, may the splinters never point the wrong way.”
See you next month, stay safe.