WHILE THE CHIEF PARTIED,
THE DEPARTMENT WAS CRUMBLING AROUND HIM
Whether to store evidence or other items that could no longer be stored inside of headquarters these trailers and containers were placed underneath I-95, where they were subject to the vageries of the weather and nature, including rats, roaches, and mildew.
OCTOBER 20, 2016
Let me be clear at the beginning that the problems that plague the Miami Police Department did not start when Rudy Llanes became the Chief of Police in December of 2014.
Many of the problems that now beset the department had already started wrapping themselves around the department like the tentacles of an octopus, well before then, but even a blind man could have seen by the time that Tomas Regalado became Mayor, that in addition to the manpower and management problems that the department somehow never seemed to overcome, that there were other, more serious problems that could only be pushed back for so long, before the the integrity of the department would become seriously affected.
It's obvious in hindsight that Mayor Tomas Regalado from the beginning - and to be fair, the financial problems that the city faced when he was elected certainly would have given any Mayor pause - made a conscious decision than rather than trying to deal with some of these problems one they became known kept pushing them away or ignoring them until now the next Mayor of Miami is going to be faced with some very real and expensive decisions about how to deal not only with a real increase in manpower and in the professional development of the department, but more importantly how to deal with a headquarters building that no longer meets the requirements of a police department the size of Miami's.
The stories that I've done over the last several days detailing the disappearance of 9 revolvers from the Property Room and the destruction of evidence are but like trees in a forest, and only by stepping back can one see that perhaps the biggest scandal waiting to explode in everyone's faces is the revelation that over time there has been an almost complete breakdown over the custody and control of evidence by the Miami Police Department, and that as the old saying goes, "You ain't seen nothing yet, baby!"
From sources within the department I've been told that the reason that the city was forced to turn to using shipping containers to store evidence was that the evidence room was never designed to accomodate the amount of evidence that accumulated over the years, and that instead of the city going out and renting a warehouse they could specifically design to store and protect evidence, they chose instead to take the cheap way out and buy storage containers and storage trailers.
Chief Rudy Llanes with singer Marc Anthony, and Anthony admiring the City of Miami Police badge that he was given as one of the gifts by the Chief to show his appreciation for Anthony's donation to the PAL Program.
For those of you with a creative mindset, consider for a moment the simple, cheap and effective ways that you could destroy whatever was inside any of those containers and storage sheds. The only thing in your way would be a double-strand of mesh fencing. and as you can see, you would not only have access to these containers from the ground, but also above from I-95.
It's a wonder that someone interested in destroying evidence has not done any of the things you come up with.
But then again, thanks to the incompetence and unwillingness of the Regalado, and before him the Diaz administration to look at how to safeguard and protect these items, the rats, cockroaches and mildew did the job for them.
In case you didn't read my post from Monday, here is what a Miami Police officer upset over the mismanagement, malfeasance and negligence associated with the safeguarding of evidence wrote about the recent discovery of all the evidence that was found destroyed in the containers under I-95.
PISTOLS ARE MISSING, EVIDENCE HAS BEEN DESTROYED, HEROIN/FENTANYL IS BEING SOLD ON THE STREETS LIKE COTTON CANDY AT THE COUNTY FAIR AND SITTING IN HIS OFFICE COUNTING THE DAYS TILL HE LEAVES IS CHIEF OF POLICE RUDY LLANES, WHO GOT THE JOB BECAUSE HE WOULD KISS THE MAYOR'S ASS, KEEP HIS MOUTH SHUT AND ACT LIKE THE CRUISE DIRECTOR ON THE TITANIC,
THESE ARE MAQUINITA MACHINES THAT YOU'LL BE HEARING MORE ABOUT SOON
THE STORAGE AREA IS OPEN TO THE WEATHER
It doesn't take a rocket scientist to ask once again, why didn't the Police Department either rent a warehouse, or have a warehouse built on city-owned property that could have been constructed to store evidence the way that any reasonable person would expect a police department to handle evidence?
To go around buying shipping containers and storage sheds point to a failure of leadership and even simple intelligence on the part of both the leadership of the Police Department and the various city managers who have shuffled through City Hall during the Regalado and Diaz tenure as Mayors.
As bad as all of this is, this is only one shoe, in a two shoe drop.
The important thing to remember is that when you talk about evidence is you're also talking about drug, cash, expensive jewelry and guns.
I've been told by numerous sources that if there is one single scandal that could blow the roof off of the Miami Police Department and in turn the Regalado administration it's the fact that there has never been a credible, independent audit done of the Miami Police Department's Property Room.
In short, no one know how much money, how many pounds - not ounces, pounds - of drugs, how many pieces of jewelry and how many weapons could not be accounted for if such an audit were conducted.
It takes political courage and will to do the right thing, and therefore the members of the Miami City Commission also have to share in the blame for what has happened.
The big question now is, what will the City Commission do now that all of this is out in the open?
Will they talk their usual bullshit about accountability and transparency at the next City Commission meeting and then push this issue off until some future meeting with the expectation that the public's memory is short and easily distracted, or will they realize that the ball in now in their court, and that they need to craft very specific set of instructions to the City Manager that requires him to put together a list of the best forensic auditors capable of doing such an audit on the Police Department's Property Room, put together a real budget, and put together a selection committee to go out and hire the best independent, professional audit company capable of coming and and doing the kind of forensic audit required to find out just what the hell has been going on in that department for all these years.
This cannot be a company with connections to someone's cousin or brother-in-law. This needs to be a reputable, highly professional and skilled company from outside of Miami so as to minimize the affects of the Family and Friends Plan.
When it takes a blogger to reveal that the City of Miami Police Department has managed in less than 90 days has had 9 revolvers disappear from the Property Room, and that over 1500 pieces of evidence that were part of hundreds of murder cases have at best been damaged, if not destroyed, then all the bullshit has to stop, and grownups have to step in and say, "This crazy shit cannot continue to go on."
It's Miami, Bitches!
I WAS INFORMED LATE THIS AFTERNOON THAT THE MIAMI POLICE DEPARTMENT WENT THROUGH AN ACCREDIATION REVIEW BY CALEA - THE COMMISSION ON ACCREDIATION OF LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES - IN 2015. I HAVE SUBMITTED A PUBLIC RECORDS REQUEST TO THE CHIEF FOR A COPY OF THAT DOCUMENT, AND FOR COPIES OF THE PHOTOS THAT WERE SUPPOSEDLY TAKEN OF THE DAMAGAED AND DESTROYED EVIDENCE MAINTAINED IN THE CONTAINERS UNDER I-95. I WILL MAKE THAT INFORMATION PUBLIC AS SOON AS I OBTAIN IT.