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CRESPOGRAM REPORT

SEPTEMBER 26, 2013

IT’S CALLED ROPE-A-DOPE
CHIEF MANNY OROSA HAS PURPOSELY KEPT THE CITY COMMISSION IN THE DARK ABOUT THE OPERATION OF THE POLICE DEPARTMENT, AND THE 5 DWARFS HAVE ALLOWED HIM TO GET AWAY WITH IT

It was no secret before the beginning of the last City Commission meeting that questions would come up about staffing issues involving the Miami Police department. 


Everyone, from the Commissioners to the City Manager to the Chief of Police knew that a large number of angry citizens were going to show up demanding more police protection, and that before the meeting ended, the Chief would be called on to defend how officers within his department are allocated to deal with the increasing crime in Miami.


A competent and professional Chief of Police would, I contend, have shown up with some paperwork - in fact, a really smart Chief would have provided the Commissioners the paperwork well before the meeting - that provided a detailed breakdown within his department of how many officers are allocated to street patrol by shifts.  Specifically, the Chief, if he were sincere about being an open and transparent manager,  would would have long ago provided that kind of detailed information to the City Manager and members of the Commission.


Since the Chief is on the record under oath as claiming that he arranged to deal with the Commissioners one on one to deal with their problems, providing them with hard data about the operation of his department so that they could better deal with the complaints of angry homeowners seems like the kind of information that would have been a no brainer for the Chief to provide.


Unfortunately Chief Manny Orosa HAS NEVER DONE THAT!


Instead, when Commissioner Suarez raised the issue of how many officers were actually patrolling the streets of Miami, the Chief stood up, and started rattling off numbers, and immediately engaged in a game of rope-a-dope.  Commissioner Suarez wanted to know how many Miami Police Officers were on “street patrol,” and claimed that he had been told the number was approximately 350.  Commissioner Sarnoff chimed in by saying he had heard it was 450.


Why did each of them have a different number for how many officers were on street patrol?  Why hadn’t the Chief of Police before the meeting provided them with a simple straight-forward document that provided everyone with a set of numbers that could be used as the basis for a rational discussion of  the problems that were obviously a concern to them and the citizens who showed up demanding more police protection?


Instead, what the Chief did was come up with an entirely new number - 583 - and then told the Commissioners that that number represented all the officers in the “Uniform Service.”


From that number he began to explain how 20 or so were assigned here, and 44 were assigned there, and then there were 60 Sergeants, and 11 Lieutenants, and eventually he conceded that there were approximately 400 officers on patrol although he refused to provide real and specific  numbers for how many officers were on each of the 3 shifts that the department operates under.


At the end of his explanation the Chief more or less conceded that in fact he only has approximately 400 officers on patrol for all 3 shifts. The best definition of who a street patrol officer is, is that that officer is  one that shows up for Roll Call at his/her station and then goes out on patrol. These are considered the First Responders on most normal calls for help.


Here is the video portion of that exchange.  Now I have purposely cut this clip down to the specific exchange, so as not to make it time consuming to watch, but it does include the relevant exchange between the Chief, Commissioner Suarez and several other Commissioners. 

The first and most critical issue regarding the Chief’s answers is all of the information that he failed to provide.  Specifically, how many of either the 583, or the approximately 400 police officers are actually working at any given time?  How many are on sick or injury leave? How many are temporary assigned to other duties. How many are temporary assigned to other duties. How do the days off for these officers impact the schedule, and where is a document that shows a weekly breakdown of how many officers are actually on duty on every single day?


The Chief of Police, by failing to provide the members of the City Commission with these kinds of hard, factual numbers upon which they could make some reasonable and intelligent decisions about the budget and the safety of the citizens of Miami is not only screwing the Commissioners, it’s screwing the citizens.


THE CHIEF CONTINUES TO REFUSE TO PROVIDE INFORMATION


If you watched the video you saw Commissioner Suarez at the end ask the Chief to provide him with a breakdown of those numbers.


That request was made on September 12th.  On Wednesday morning, September 25th, I sent a public records request to the City Manager, Commissioner Suarez and the other Commissioners. The response to my request to the City Manager was that my email was forwarded to the Chief of Police, who didn’t respond. No one else did either except for Commissioner Suarez’s Chief of Staff, who sent me the following email that I received at 4:27 PM.

So not only did the Chief fail to act like you would expect a responsible senior manager of a government department with 1144 employees to act two weeks ago, but even after being asked directly by a City Commissioner for information he still refused to provide any documentation so as to allow the information to be reviewed by the Commissioner(s) prior to today’s meeting.


I contend this was done with willful intent.


That’s actually grounds, given the seriousness of the issues involved, for the Chief of Police to be suspended or fired for insubordination.


LOOKING THROUGH THE TELESCOPE THE WRONG WAY


If, as it is generally agreed, the Miami Police Department has approximately 1144 employees, and the Uniform Services comprised 583 of those employees, then that means that there are another 561 employees unaccounted for.


Who are those employees, and why can’t some of them be assigned to street patrols?


That’s the critical question that folks from Coconut Grove and elsewhere need to ask.


It appears from the Change Memo released by the City Manager on Wednesday afternoon, that there is some attempt to do that.  You will see in the document below, which was Part II of that Change Memo that it calls for 15 officers to be reassigned.

Are the transfer of a paltry 15 officers the best that they can do?


Let’s look at some numbers. 


The senior staff of the police department is made up of 1 Chief, 1 Deputy Chief, 3 Assistant Chiefs, 12 Majors, 12 Commanders and 3 Executive Assistants, for a total of 32.


There are currently 31 Lieutenants, of which 9-11 are assigned to Patrol. There are approximately 160-180 Sergeants, of which 60 are assigned to Patrol.  There are approximately 100-120 policemen assigned to CID, which consists of Homicide, Robbery, Burglary, Auto Theft, Vice, Sexual Assault and other crimes.  There are an unknown number assigned to the Communications Department that deals with electronic surveillance and stuff like that.  Let’s say 25.


So add up all of those people, and kick in another 100 to maybe cover the 911 Operators and Motor Pool, and that comes out to 394 cops.   Round it off at 400.


That still leaves 161 cops unaccounted for.  Who are they, and what do they do that they can’t be assigned to street patrols?


I cannot continue without pointing out Luis Cabrera, the supposed Deputy Chief of Police, who was essentially fired by former Chief Exposito, and who Chief Orosa won’t allow to come back to the department. 


Cabrera is Deputy Chief in name only, yet he is carried on the Table Of Organization and continues to be paid from the Police Department budget. Because he is in the DROP. Cabrera is being paid a TOTAL of $299,153.66 a year, of which $161,254.08 is for the job of Deputy Chief of Police that he does not do, and $137,899.58 that goes into his DROP account  ever year until he retires in 2017.


This is the kind of dirty, back room political cronyism and phony accounting that has been occurring inside the Regalado administration almost from the first day he took office as Mayor and one of the reasons that the budget numbers for the PoliceDepartment don’t reflect reality. (Go to my February 13, 2013 story and scroll to Part II.  Hell, read the whole story, it’s your tax money that’s being pissed away.)


So, for all of you nice folks in Coconut Grove and elsewhere who think that you’re dealing with folks who might be a little slow, but are ethically on your side, think again.


IF FOLKS IN MIAMI WANT BETTER POLICE PROTECTION, THEN HERE’S WHAT I SUGGEST YOU NEED TO DO


MIGHT I SUGGEST THAT ALL THE FOLKS IN COCONUT GROVE AND ELSEWHERE IN THE CITY WHO ARE UPSET OVER THE LEVEL OF POLICE PROTECTION DEMAND THE CITY COMMISSION TO INSTRUCT THE CITY MANAGER TO ORDER THE CHIEF OF POLICE TO PROVIDE A DETAILED, COMPLETE ACCOUNTING OF ALL OF THE OFFICERS THAT ARE CURRENTLY ON STREET PATROL, AND HOW MANY OF THEM ARE ACTUALLY WORKING, NOT ON LEAVE, VACATION OR LOOKING FOR WALDO, AND THEN DEMAND THAT THE COMMISSION INSTRUCT THE CITY MANAGER TO HAVE THE CHIEF COME UP WITH A PLAN THAT PUTS A MINIMUM OF 55%, AND A MAXIMUM OF 60% OF THE ENTIRE MIAMI POLICE DEPARTMENT ON THE STREETS OF THE CITY TO DEAL WITH THE CRIME PROBLEM LIKE A LOT OF OTHER POLICE DEPARTMENTS DO!


HAVE THE CITY COMMISSION SET A DEADLINE OF 12  DAYS, OR TWO DAYS BEFORE THE FIRST COMMISSION MEETING IN OCTOBER.


DEMAND THAT COPIES OF THAT DOCUMENT BE MADE AVAILABLE IN HARD COPES AT THE CITY CLERK’S OFFICE AND DOWNLOADABLE ON THE INTERNET SO THAT EVERY CITIZEN WHO WANTS A COPY CAN SEE IT BEFORE THAT MEETING. 


SET ASIDE 4 HOURS TO DEAL WITH THIS ISSUE. IF THE REPORT THE CHIEF PROVIDES IS UNSATISFACTORY IN MEETING A MINIMUM GOAL OF 55% THE DEPARTMENT PATROLLING THE STREETS 24/7, OR IF THE CHIEF DOES NOT DO THIS ANY OF THIS AND INSTEAD COMES UP WITH USUAL SHUCK AND JIVE EXCUSES, THEN THE CITY MANAGER, OR THE CITY COMMISSION, OR ALL OF THEM TOGETHER NEED TO TAKE ALL THE LEGAL STEPS TO FIRE THE CHIEF AND REPLACE HIM.


IF PEOPLE ARE REALLY SERIOUS, AND REALLY TIRED OF THE BULLSHIT, THEN YOU NEED TO SHOW IT AND HANG WITH THE PROGRAM UNTIL YOU GET WHAT YOU WANT.


THE POLITICIANS BEAT YOU WHEN THEY FIGURE YOU’LL TIRE AND QUIT, AND YOU DO.


DON’T LET UP.  MAKE THE COMMISSIONERS FORCE THE CITY MANAGER AND THE CHIEF TO PRODUCE REAL RESULTS, AND NOT DEPEND OR RELY ON ROOKIE COPS HITTING THE STREET IN THE BYE AND BYE.


THAT’S MY ROUGH SUGGESTION FOR GETTING MORE COPS ON THE STREETS ASAP.  FOLKS CAN POLISH IT UP, AND ADD THEIR OWN THOUGHTS TO MAKE IT BETTER.


The above represents my thoughts about how to get more cops on the streets ASAP.  The problem of how to raise the money to relieve the reduction on pay and benefits that not only the police, but also ALL the employees of the City of Miami have suffered under the Regalado administration are far more complicated, and because those problems were created as a result of contract negotiations, I suspect that that’s the only effective way that they can be resolved.


Al Crespo

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