Miami Gardens Police need a tune-up

By Brain Dennis, bdennisbotsm@yahoo.com | 1/1/2014, 9 a.m.

After having a conversation with some friends a few weeks ago about the City of Miami Gardens Police Department (MGPD), they were shocked to learn how much I knew about what was going on in Miami Gardens and wasn’t getting the Brothers of the Same Mind involved. And I was told I was wrong for having an “as long as they’re not bothering us attitude.”

Now I’ve lived in Carol City for four years now and I’ve seen some officers act holier than thou just because they have a gun and badge. A few years ago it was bought to the attention of the Miami Dade Community Relations Board (CRB) that MGPD was off-the- chain, so the actions that the police are accused of aren’t surprising to us. When the city hired only certified police officers who have no connection to the city and the type of activities documented at the CRB meetings these are the results that you can expect. I’ve witnessed on several occasions motorists pulled over without any apparent probable cause and released without being cited for any violation Now don’t get me wrong I’m not upholding the young men that are shooting up homes injuring and killing young innocent people but you just can’t paint everyone with a broad brush to justify why the MGPD is off the chain. To deal with what’s ailing the city doesn’t mean you have free reign to do whatever you feel like doing. I’ve seen the jump out police do some things over the years but nothing compared to MGPD.

In January 2011 BOTSM requested to meet with former City of Miami Police Chief Miguel Exposito. We did so because we didn’t want any other community based organization giving us an opinion based on their meeting with then chief Exposito. We knew before we met with the chief that then City of Miami Commissioner Richard Dunn would never get the votes on the commission to fire Exposito at the time when the City of Miami Police Department were shooting eight young Black men, killing seven in an eight month span. Mayor Oliver Gilbert and the City Commission need to change the entire command staff of the MGPD and give those officers that have become excellent in their craft the opportunity to lead. The attitude of a police department usually reflects that of the Chief and those that are in position to give orders. Mayor Gilbert should to take a page out of City of Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado’s playbook based on similarities. Regalado had a troubled police department early in his tenure as mayor but as soon as the opportunity came to make changes he did and the City of Miami Police Department has been running as smooth as a Cadillac.