Posted Under: Important Issues for Fort Lauderdale
Another example of outrageous waste in our City!
A couple of weeks ago, I came up to a red light in a busy intersection near Sunrise Blvd. Next to me was a Fort Lauderdale City Police officer on a traffic motorcycle. I thought I would chat with him briefly.
I asked him: “Is that motorcycle yours to use on a regular basis, or do you return it to the City at the end of your shift”?
His friendly reply: “No they give it to me to use full-time. I take it home after my shift.”
I responded: “What happens if it’s raining or if it’s really hot? Isn’t that motorcycle difficult to use year-round”?
His reply: “Oh, they give me a take-home car too!”
So this particular police officer has a police car AND a police motorcycle to take home and use as he sees fit, courtesy of us the taxpayer???? My jaw dropped. It was all I could do to get part of the motorcycle’s license plate number: “J..07…”.
It’s bad enough that we the taxpayer must provide every police officer with their own take home vehicle (85% of those officers leave Fort Lauderdale at the end of their shift because they don’t live in Fort Lauderdale), but we are giving out motorcycles too? In this age of economic cutbacks, why isn’t someone in our City asking why this is necessary?
Several months ago, I asked for and received from the City Attorney’s office a detailed list of all vehicles that are assigned to our Police Department. A total of more than 550 vehicles, from Ford Interceptors, and Dodge Chargers, to Jeeps, pickups, trucks, some unusual vehicles, along with several vehicles whose information was redacted (lined out), were on that list.
That’s just about one vehicle for every employee in the Police Department, from Street officers, detectives, Captains, Lieutenants, secretaries, and so on. Given that fewer than 100 police officers, Managers and detectives are on duty at any one time in the City, is there a reason why we the taxpayer must shoulder (what appears to be) a wasteful and costly vehicle extravagance that does little to help protect us, yet does a lot to help reinforce an “Attitude of Entitlement” within our Police Department?
I am sending an email to Lee Feldman and to Harry Stewart, asking them to provide me information on exactly how many of our officers get a free car AND motorcycle. I think this is a ridiculous waste of money. What do you think?