Now that Miami Police Chief John Timoney has been caught lying about his year-long test drive of a Lexus SUV, his critics are circling like sharks in a blood-filled ocean.
This morning, members of the Fraternal Order of Police called a press conference to talk about how Timoney looks the other way while police brass “cook the books” on crime reporting data. FOP president Armando Aguilar – a sergeant in the department – says that crimes are often reclassified; burglaries are changed to “information” reports, assaults are changed to “disputes.” Aguilar says this happens daily and makes the city look safer than it really is. He says that he’s received calls form about 100 officers who are concerned about the way crime stats are reported. Moreover, Aguilar said he’s gone through a few dozen reports himself and has proof that crimes were reclassified.
Aguilar said that he has no evidence that Timoney has directed his underlings to change the way crimes are reported – but, he said, his administration has been “put on notice” in recent months that it’s happening frequently. Aguilar said he has spoke to City Manager Pete Hernandez about the issue and he’s going to ask the FDLE to investigate.
Of course, crime stat scandals are nothing new in these parts; it’s one of the many blemishes on Broward County Sheriff Ken Jenne’s career.
When asked why more officers haven’t spoken publicly about these reporting issues in Miami, Aguilar replied, “this is a very vindictive administration.”
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Interestingly, before the press conference started, a TV reporter asked if any other officers wanted to sit or stand behind the desk while Aguilar read his statement for the cameras. One uniformed officer shrugged and walked over. “I’m already on midnights,” he said. “What else are they gonna do to me?” -- Tamara Lush