Putney’s incorrect article
I’ve received many calls complaining about the Op Ed piece, in the Miami Herald, written by Michael Putney. The article, printed on February 2, was indeed full of inaccuracies. For starters, his saying that Gimenez’ top priority is running an honest, open and transparent government is simply not true, or if it is, Gimenez has failed miserably. There have been a slew of lawsuits just to get public records that have been threatened or filed under Gimenez’ watch. “Open government” probably to a handful of lobbyists and to just a couple of news reporters who throw softball questions at the Mayor. The average citizen cannot see him, and forget a critic, or reports that ask the tough questions, or merely ask the Mayor to back up some of his claims of success. “Honest government,” seriously Michael?
Putney also states that only about 30 people were demonstrating outside the state of county address. I don’t know if he needs glasses or was referring to another state of the county address, but the one I was at had more protesters outside than the obligatory staffers who attended the address itself. That fact was even reported by former Pulitzer Prize writer Elaine DeValle. For the record, there were nearly 200, including the taxi cab drivers circling the auditorium.
Then Mr. Putney wrote: “Curiously, Gimenez in his speech didn’t mention his major accomplishment: No scandals…There hasn’t been a whiff of corruption about Gimenez.” Look, maybe Michael was on an overseas voyage when fraudulent absentee ballots were being delivered to Gimenez’ campaign office in Hialeah. Shortly after learning the MDPD public corruption unit had requested a search warrant for his office he dismantled the unit. Now, no public corruption investigations take place. Maybe to a reporter that’s not a whiff, but to those of us in the profession, who know better, it smells like a rotten skunk. And, that’s just one incident.
I’m not ready to accept the notion that Mr. Putney is on the take, as some callers have suggested. But, I do believe that Michael has lost some of the very zing that made him a distinguished reporter. There is no doubt that he has some unusual admiration for Gimenez, but maybe it’s because as a reporter one needs to have access to government leaders and Gimenez does give him that.
But again, Gimenez gives him access because Michael doesn’t throw him tough questions or double-check the validity of his comments. The other glaring mistake Michael made was when he wrote: “He [Gimenez] deeply believes in public service: Service above self, he often says.” Yes, Michael Putney, Gimenez may say that; but, in reality, he practices self above service.
Rally and Ride
I cannot begin to properly express my pride and gratitude to all the volunteers, workers, and organizers of the second annual PBA Rally and Ride that took place recently. From having the extraordinary support, and backing, of our dear friend, Miami-Dade Commissioner Pepe Diaz, to every single participant and everyone in between. The event, believed to be the largest pro-law enforcement motorcycle event in America, was nothing short of phenomenal. I couldn’t possibly mention every single person, and for fear that I might accidentally leave even one name out, let me just say ‘thank you’ to everyone. It was awesome, as are you!
Again, thank you to Commissioner Jose “Pepe” Diaz, his staff, all the participating departments, the volunteers, and last but never least, the PBA staff who simply rocks.
Street named for pioneer
We thank Commissioner Barbara Jordan for sponsoring a street after deceased MDPD officer Thelma Harris. The PBA had approached Commissioner Jordan with the idea, which she immediately embraced. Officer Harris was the first black female police officer in the state of Florida, as well as the first female to attend the Dade County Police Academy. She was a loyal member of the PBA since our inception and in addition to being a public servant pioneer, she was always a woman of faith, involved in many church activities, including choir. Thelma passed on July 4, 2015. She was an extraordinary person, filling an extraordinary position, during extraordinary times. She will be missed but her memory will live on forever. The sign is posted on 175 Street, from NW 27 Ave. to NW 37 Ave.
The HPOA Valentine’s Day dance was an extraordinary event to say the least. Congratulations to President Bobby Fortich and the entire board for a successful evening. The organization has made huge strides forward under the current administration, and it’s as a direct result of the leadership. The PBA enjoys the accord between the two organizations and we look forward to working together in the future on many projects. Strength in unity!
As of this writing, there have been 24 officers killed in the line of duty thus far this year, 12 of which were from gunfire. Just the other day we all learned of Virginia Officer Ashley Guindon, 28 years of age, who was killed the first day on the job. It’s a grim reminder of the dangers others, outside of our profession, so easily and frequently take for granted.
Once again, I remind everyone that our jobs have changed drastically, as has our support. Do not take unnecessary risks. Always, always, always wait for your back-up. If calls back up or take a little longer as a result, so be it. If ANY supervisor wants you to do otherwise, call us, we’ll take care of it.