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Here’s The Scoop 3/24-25/09 LBTS Commission Meeting #4….”Drives A Stake Through My Heart”

THE CALLS……..THE QUESTIONS……THE INFERENCES….THE FACTS……

It’s been an ongoing drumbeat from Commissioner Clottey with an assist from Vice Mayor McIntee…the “fear” of calling the BSO…the “retaliation”…the absurd assertions from these two have many scratching their heads wondering what’s up with these two…and do they and their  pals have any idea how off the wall they sound?…

It began at the CIC Town Hall meeting …small in attendance …only CIC…(previous post…civic organization category)…with Comm. Clottey making this weird assertion…and McIntee making ridiculous claims…”standard” McIntee fare that BSO was letting the “bad guys” go and going after the wrong ones…Bad “testing ground” for this line of battle with the BSO…and possible pre-election platform for 2010 ….Of course the “kool-aid” drinkers would buy whatever was thrown out at them…but to take it “on the road” to the 3/24-25/09 commission meeting…didn’t pass the “smell test”…and made Commissioner Clottey look off the wall!…

She brought it up at BSO reports the evening of the 24th…and BSO Chief Gooding set her straight…

Commissioner Clottey asked for the Chief to come to the podium…where she said “you and I have spoken several times about there’s no problem unless somebody calls the police, um repeatedly people have called me and said they’re afraid to call the police.”…She said they had gone back and forth about this and again said “people are afraid to call”…Chief Gooding said “I’m not sure, afraid of what? Afraid of the police, afraid of retaliation?”….Comm.Clottey  answered back that the ones that will tell her say it’s “retaliation”…Chief Gooding  said they had spoken about this and gave an example of of calling in a noise complaint…not giving your name …a domestic dispute…not giving your name…it is not required and is common practice no matter what city or state…the BSO just wants the calls “By not calling or calling you (Clottey) three days later does not help that situation, doesn’t help us respond.”…He spoke of the previous month when they had the same discussion and said he didn’t know what else he could say to assure her…going on to say they they receive anonymous calls everyday, all day…for suspicious people….water restrictions not being observed by neighbors that are done anonymously…The Chief said the “retaliation part must be from the person or the business they’re calling on”…saying the operators are used to taking calls from people who do not want to leave their names…Comm.Clottey ” Well Chief my concern is my constituents seem to be uneasy, this is a problem we have to solve.”…adding it was going nowhere for her to continue to discuss it with him…she went on to two other questions…”There were some comments made the last time about no police reports for Silver Shores the southern part and you said you had no reports.” Chief Gooding responded that was not what he said that it was said (to him) there were five or six car burglaries …”and even as I stand here today there wasn’t five or six car burglaries”…Comm.Clottey “Because I had gotten some e-mails from people who beg to differ with what you had said.” The Chief ” Let me tell you the fact, the fact is there were two and then there was a third one reported ten days after that, so there were three.”…He went on to say that at the previous report he gave to the Commission last month there were two reported “not five or six ,that’s a big difference.”….”So that’s the fact, Now you know rumors abound and I hear things around town that we’re getting killed in a certain area and if people would call me as opposed to you or another commissioner maybe they can get the facts.”…He told her he can only tell her what the reports that they take say….Comm. Clottey had one more question…She asked about the businesses who hire BSO police for events…she said ” I was kind of surprised to see the police chief directing pedestrian traffic while the three hired cops were enjoying themselves. I was surprised at that.” She wasn’t sure what to call them (Detail Deputies)…and she went on to say this ” I asked him (the detail deputy) um, are you going to do anything about everybody, the people running around with these open containers and he said where, and I said right there, he said no. If these guys see the law being broken whatever it is, do they just sit there and do nothing? I don’t know what their job is. If you could enlighten me as to what their job is?”…The Chief clarified the difference between on duty for the BSO and detail duty…and who does what…basically detail while being paid by the businesses is to keep the peace…no fights, no “blatant violations”…adding the detail for Jazz on the Square is usually two deputies…and for Tuesday (St. Patty’s Day) there were 5 deputies…any big occurrence they contact on duty BSO officers…and as far as open container “It’s basic standard blanket direction from me, from the Lieutenant on down.” saying they know people will be walking between the bars and restaurants during certain nights….adding that maybe the detail deputies need some extra reinforcement to deal with it …and it could be easily done….Comm. Clottey said it went beyond the bars…she had seen “spring breakers” walking with three or four open containers on El Mar and in parking lots…The Chief responded ” I got to tell you Commission you see much more than me, I’m out a lot during the day and I haven’t seen that.”…again reiterating that she and others need to call then…not bring it up in this forum…after the fact…so they are prevented from acting on it…

The Commission meeting continued the next day at 3:30 pm …and first up was Commissioner Comments…

Comm. Clottey- ” You probably heard the exchange between me and the Chief, ah by this I mean the Chief of police. Ah, ladies and gentlemen as you know we do have a problem and I feel like I kinda caught right there in the middle at times. I have heard you loud and clear, many, many people have called me and sent me an e-mail and I know I’m not the only one it’s everybody up here too. (Mayor Minnet /Comm. Dodd have not had the same calls or e-mails)..And they give me, they keep telling me that they are afraid to call the police for various reasons, they say reprisal. I, I believe it’s not that they’re afraid of the policemen but is afraid they’ll be going on public record saying they filed a complaint and when a lot of people tell you this story you have to put some credence in it. If it’s one or two, but when a lot of people tell you this, I wonder what happened in the past that makes people afraid.”…She again said all of the Commissioners received complaints last weekend..and spoke of a restaurant that was playing music until 2 am (101 Ocean)…saying people have the right to be angry…saying it was long past the 10 pm cut off…and then saying ” Ah, we get the complaints, for some reason I do not know and I can’t fathom, the police will not do anything, unless they have a complaint. Now if people are afraid to call the police what are we supposed to do?”…The Commissioner went on to explain her noise item agenda entry was to change the current ordinance to allow our code personnel to do “decibel” tests which they cannot at this present time….and her “take” on LBTS…”You know we are not a honky tonk town, we’re not supposed to be a destination for late night entertainment, that’s not what Lauderdale By The Sea is all about. We’re not an amusement park on the ocean. Most people who bought into this community thought there would be a certain amount of peace and quiet.We all like to go down to the square and have a good time. But that has to be limited to a certain time frame. It cannot be going on all day and all night into the wee hours of the morning.That is not what most people want.”…continuing on about the need to change who does the decibel monitoring ” It’s something the police are not going to do. If they wanted to do it they would have done it.”….

BC-  As one observer said after the meeting can the you imagine what the “Vigilante” will do with a decibel monitor at his disposal?…YIKES!

Later under New Business, Commissioner Silverstone was discussing the BSO and lack of beach patrol by the Sheriff’s office ( another CIC Town Hall kick-off vs the BSO police)…Lt. Angelo Cedeno took the opportunity after the initial subject matter was addressed and answered to set the record straight…Speaking to Comm. Clottey he said ” I just want to reiterate, I know Commissioner Clottey brought up the fact about the residents calling for complaints and issues. This in my twenty one years, this is the first town that I come to where residents do not call 911 and do not call the non emergency number. So this is, I can’t understand how, the town doesn’t take advantage of that service, not only the documentation of the call, the response times. It’s proper protocol to receive police service, emergency service. I know that cell phone is a luxury or initially started as a luxury to the town for supervisors to make contact with the supervisor. But I can’t stress any further the need to call those emergency numbers. And it kind of offends me to hear that the residents are scared to call the police because when I hear that it’s perceived to be either there’s a public corruption issue, there’s a use of force issue, there’s some kind of cover up issue. We are not, I have twenty one years of exceptional service. I bled for this state agency and it somewhat offends me to think that my residents can’t call me for service, because of some sort of retribution, the retribution is not on behalf of the Sheriff’s office or members of my staff or my troops. I would like to dispel that concern, and I hope it is taken as seriously as I take it, really strikes a nerve with me to hear that.”…The Lt. continued on speaking about the fact that the noise complaints should not usurp the positive things the BSO does and offered to brief any members of staff and the dais in the proper forum away from the camera at anytime about what is really being done by BSO in this town…Comm. Silverstone lamely tried to say he put his Beach Patrol item on to allow the Lt. to come up and say what he did..(according to the Lt. after the meeting, he waited for the right opportunity on his own)…The Vice Mayor tried to back peddle as well repeating the “it’s not the police they’re afraid of”…saying everyone respects the Sheriff’s Dept. (not the same story as at the CIC Town Hall meeting)…

The Lt answered ” Believe me I understand that, but perception is everything and for you to hear that in an open forum, it drives a stake through my heart.”

The Vice Mayor tried to have the last word saying the citizens support the police…the police are honest, but that in this town there is a history of retaliation for making a complaint…HMMMM….YEP…HE SAID IT…and he ought to know!

BC- The drumbeat is getting louder…the CIC seems to have their election issues…33 feet and the BSO Police…

Now unfortunately for this Town…the “2-Hats” have a “guaranteed” ” 3rd vote from Comm. Clottey……( seen with the removal later at the meeting of Louis Marchelos from the hall) who  in the end…never offered the Lt. her apologies…In this writer’s opinion that apology should have been forthcoming ….She did exactly what he (Lt. Cedeno)  said…in giving the public the perception that LBTS residents are afraid of the police…feared retribution from the police…despite the few and far between slight clarifications to say that wasn’t what she or the Vice Mayor meant …those  statements were lost below the glaring headlines they have made each and every time she went after the BSO….. apparently their intent!

more to come…..

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