The apparent ongoing fight between City of Miami Police officers and Florida Highway Patrol troopers is both sickening and pathetic. These are people paid with taxpayer money to protect Dade County. Not get into to pissing matches.
The MPD has declared that no such rivalry exists, but just yesterday the department disciplined one of their own for what appears to be an apparent retaliatory stop against an FHP trooper. At least they're trying to quell the tension.
The chain of events was tipped off when an FHP trooper stopped and arrested a City of Miami police officer who was traveling down I-95 at 120 mph. Just this weekend, an FHP trooper found his patrol car covered in feces.
Now, Thomas Vokaty, a Miami police officer, has been disciplined for pulling over an FHP trooper for apparently no reason.
At about 8:40 p.m. on Tuesday night Vokaty used his Miami police car to pull over an unnamed FHP trooper. Problem was Vokaty made the stop in Broward County where Miami police have no jurisdiction.
"The action exhibited poor judgement on the part of Officer Vokaty and reflects poorly on the cooperative relationship with the City of Miami Police Department and the Florida Highway Patrol, a valuable partner in the execution of our law enforcement duties," reads the record of formal counseling against Vokaty.
Despite the discipline -- which certainly seems to validate claims that Vokaty only pulled the trooper over out of retaliation -- Miami's Interim Chief Manuel Orosa released a statement this afternoon claiming that rivalry exists between Dade police and highway patrol cops.
"The internet blogs which are propagating this perception are, for the most part, inaccurate," Orosa says. "I'd like to make it clear that the Miami Police Department and Florida Highway Patrol have a professional, cordial relationship."
"The recent traffic stop of an FHP trooper by one of our officers was an isolated incident, and his actions should not reflect negatively on the Miami Police Department."
Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.