While I voted with the Waterfront Board to select Grove Harbor Marina and Caribbean Marketplace, I later determined, after much thought, that it would be best for the city commission to start anew. The RFP should be for a "world-class boat yard." The rent should be determined, as originally intended, after the new bids have been submitted and an appraiser can evaluate the property's value as a boat yard.

There has been no rush to develop this property since Merrill Stevens left at least ten years ago. As the commission is preparing to award a 40-year lease, and as there are other bidders waiting, this does not appear to be a time to rush. Let us not forget that there are more than 3000 boats in Biscayne Bay that could use this yard if it were run properly, and a marine industry which is already established and serving the marine community throughout Dade County.

I would like to emphasize that this is my private opinion and not that of the city's Waterfront Advisory Board.

John A. Brennan

South Florida Law Enforcement: Excessive Force
Reading your October 24 edition regarding "Policing the Police" compelled me to write. Elise Ackerman's article leaves out one very important theme: The police departments in Dade and Broward counties are out of control! These agencies act with indifference and impunity from the laws they themselves are sworn to uphold. Service to the public at large is a joke. I have yet to find a courteous, professional police officer in South Florida. From what I've personally seen and heard, every "routine" traffic stop is a potential Rodney King incident.

If you happen to be a minority, the only chance you have of receiving fair and impartial treatment is if the officer stopping you is of the same racial or ethnic background. Even that is no guarantee. If a person is on probation and he is stopped, he can plan on going to jail on some trumped-up charge, most likely with cuts and bruises. The police in this area will rough you up knowing full well that you can't protect yourself against them without facing the consequences.

As Ms. Ackerman's article stated, cops cover for other cops. How many times have you seen four or five police cars stopping one car on the side of the road? How can fifteen Hialeah officers respond to a call, have the suspect end up with "road rash" on his chest, and no one see anything? The bare fact that the rate of legitimate excessive-force complaints is 1.6 percent, while the national average is 10.4 percent (in one of the highest-crime areas of the country), should in itself raise flags. This reeks of departmental indifference. Please don't insult the intelligence of the citizens you are sworn to protect!

I understand not all officers are bad. If you consider yourself a good cop, you would be well advised to purge your ranks of the scum mentioned in the article.

As a comedian once said when commenting on a slogan emblazoned on a police cruiser -- "To Serve and Protect" -- "They serve you up an ass beatin' while they protect themselves." That says it all.

Richard Lewis

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