It's February again, and love is in the air. As we move into the second month of 2017, I hope that everyone is holding true to their New Year's resolutions.
Last month, I attended a community meeting which was titled “Response to recent police involved West Perrine shooting.” This community meeting, in my opinion, was a rush to appease a few troublemakers in the community that were clearly uninformed.
As I sat in the back of the room, I listened to some of the speakers, who professed to be speaking on behalf of the community, making statements like, “The police are like sharks, they patrol, and kill people.” One of the speakers was clearly upset with the media. She denounced them, for not telling the truth, and in the same sentence, she praised the media for finding witnesses who alleged they had witnessed the shooting, which is now clear, they did not. Some of these agitators then began to speak out against the pastors who helped organize the meeting. Now not everyone in attendance had these same views, but it seemed that the ones given the microphone to speak did.
While sitting there listening to this meeting, I thought to myself, “Why is it we rushed to have a meeting so quickly after this police involved shooting, which had only occurred four days prior?” When in the first two days of 2017 we had ten people shot in Miami-Dade County, which was making headlines across the Country, and yet there was no outrage or outcry for any type of meeting to be held. On New Years Day, the headlines reported seven people were shot during a drive-by in a neighborhood in Northwest Miami-Dade. Four of the seven victims were in their teens. As I said previously, where was the outcry from people, demanding any type of meeting, for the much needed change that must occur in our Community. Although this meeting started out with good intentions, I believe that it was rushed into too quickly, in the future I believe these meetings should be held once the investigation has been completed for the sake of all of those involved. The problems that are occurring in the community are not caused by the men and women who wear the uniform, to serve and protect us. The moral breakdown does not start with the police, but is caused by the epidemic drug problem, and a complete disregard for a human life, and that is where I believe the focus of our local politicians and clergy should start. To all the officers out there, we here at the PBA see you, and thank you for the hard work you do, it does not go unnoticed. Stay safe, not all are against us.
Congratulations to both Dennis Ward, for his new seat as Monroe County State Attorney, and Judge Sharon I. Hamilton, for her new seat as Monroe County Court Judge, Group 3.
Last month, the PBA was invited to the swearing in of Dennis Ward. Mr. Ward started our his career following in his father’s footsteps by becoming a Miami Beach police officer. Then he went on to law school and became an attorney because he was profoundly inspired to serve his community. A driving force on his path was understanding the collective critique and frustration of law enforcement officers and prosecutors.
Judge Hamilton made history by becoming the first woman to serve on the bench in the Plantation Key division of the Monroe County court system. Judge Hamilton has an impressive judicial background that I believe will only serve the citizens of Monroe County well.
We here at the PBA wish both State Attorney Dennis Ward and Judge Sharon Hamtilton all the best in their new positions.
During the Christmas holiday, I had the privilege of working one of the POAT tables at the Falls. I witnessed first-hand on overwhelming amount of love and support of law enforcement from the community at the table I worked. As I have said in the past, not everyone is against us. For all of those who volunteered or donated, we say, “Thank You!”
As we enter the month of love, I want to wish everyone a Happy Valentine’s Day, and I hope to see you at the upcoming Ride & Rally on February 26th. For those of you that ride motorcycles, the ride starts at the PBA. For those that do not, come to Tropical Park, where there will be lots of food, fun, and music. It is a great way to spend the day with the family.
See you next month and stay safe!