For North Bay Village Police Sgt. Amy
Suarez, getting her hair done is more important than patrolling the
streets of the city she is sworn to protect. So claims Crime Watch
volunteer Amy Lee, who alleges she saw Suarez, in full uniform and
on-duty, getting her hair washed and flat-ironed at a beauty salon
"We have cops who are out of work and have been
laid off because of budget cuts," Lee tells Riptide. "When you
put on a uniform, I believe you take a moral and ethical
responsibility to keep the streets safe when you are on the clock."
Lee complained to City Manager Dennis Kelly via email. He passed along her complaint to the village's acting police chief Lt. James McCready, who tells Riptide that he gave Suarez permission to take time off from her shift to go to the beauty salon.
"She was not on-duty," he insists. "She put in a slip for her time."
(Suarez did not return a phone message left on her voice mail at the North Bay Village Police headquarters.)
Lee's not buying it.
Last Thursday evening, Lee says Suarez strolled into the Hollywood Institute of Beauty Careers on the John F. Kennedy Causeway and took a seat next to her. "We had a conversation about how she should get a Keratin treatment so that doing her hair would not take so long," Lee recalls. "I would estimate she was in there for 2 hours."
Lee says she believes the cop was on the clock because Suarez kept listening to the dispatch calls on her radio.
"She complained that she had to answer some calls and needed to finish quickly," Lee says. "I made a note on the way out that she had not signed the sign-in sheet. She obviously wanted no record of her visit." Lee also snapped a photo of the sergeant getting her hair flat-ironed, which she sent to Kelly.
In an email to Lee, Kelly informed her that the police department is investigating her complaint. "We maintain a strong sense of objectivity until we have gathered all the facts, heard the other person's side of the story and refrain from drawing conclusions until the investigation is completed," he wrote.