Miami Beach Police Union President: Banning Cops From Nightclub Work a "PR Stunt"

Categories: The Badge

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Around 4:30 a.m. Monday police were called about an extremely drunk man outside Mango's Tropical Cafe, the famous jungle-themed Ocean Drive club. The drunk turned out to be Sergeant Mike Muley, a uniformed Miami Beach police officer who was working off-duty security. The embarrassing arrest sparked the first real reform from new MBPD Chief Dan Oates, who promptly banned officers from off-duty nightclub work.

But don't expect the change to go over easily. The head of MBPD's union tells Riptide they plan to fight. "This is an overreaction and a PR stunt," Sgt. Alex Bello says.

See also: Miami Beach Cop Involved in Infamous ATV Incident Relieved of Duty for Being Drunk on Job

Bello says the off-duty, uniformed police officers' presence outside the clubs -- a form of off-duty work he estimates has been allowed for at least 25 to 30 years -- is instrumental in deterring incidents. Once the officers are removed next month, he predicts residents will notice more late-night issues, and that on-duty city cops will end up overextended from more calls to nightlife hotspots.

"No doubt," Bello said, "if you have 14 less officers on a Friday, Saturday night, you're going to see it and you're going to feel it."

Of course, there's another reason the union adamantly opposes the change: Officers can make serious cash with the off-duty jobs.

In 2010 a Miami New Times investigation found that more than half of Miami Beach's non-executive officers had earned six figures in the previous year, often from lucrative overtime and off-duty assignments. The Miami Herald reported this week that clubs like Mango's, Mansion, and Story pay the officers $45 an hour, $10 of which goes to the city.

But Bello said he estimates there are only 30 or so Miami Beach officers, out of a force of nearly 300 patrol officers, who typically work the off-duty nightclub shifts, and that the assignments weren't all that lucrative for the officers. Oates' decision to stop the assignments, he said, amounted to grandstanding.

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32 comments
windmichael21
windmichael21

police and code compliance in miami beach operate like a gang of criminals.

Jeffrey Adams
Jeffrey Adams

Totally makes sense to penalize an entire city rather than handle the individual that screwed up with the countless laws that exist to correct the behavior..,,

cargon786
cargon786

"This is an overreaction and a PR stunt," claims the union president and blowhard, Sergeant Alex Bello. "Oates' decision to stop the assignments, he said, amounted to grandstanding," states Bello. 

Well, Mr. Bello, even if it is and, FYI it is not grandstanding or PR and, the chief is well within his right to temporarily suspend you greedy, selfish, needy swines from working these details until there are much needed and better control systems and management of what has become a financial bonanza for the cops. 

As for grandstanding, no one, and I mean no one does a better job at grandstanding and over-playing the preverbal hero card than police. Every time there is something that affects the coppers' salary and working conditions, you can count on the response time of the police being much better to defend themselves than it is when responding to calls for service to the public. 

Bello goes on, "he is a new chief and wants to show he is in control." Ah yeah...that's why he is called chief and wears the four stars on his collar. As much as you would like to and have for that matter, have the union and its police bullies run amuck throughout the agency and city, it is time a real chief hits all of you with a dose of reality. Think of it as being TASERed. 

The sky will not fall if a few bars are without a police officer. All will return to normal, soon, hopefully with a much better scope of control and stricter policy to better serve the public and not the police. 

Chief Oates...keep up the good work and don't back down to these whining, crying, immature baby cops. They have one of the most storied histories in the South Florida Law Enforcement community of abuse of power, overtime abuse, excessive force and just plain gross misconduct. Contrary to the erroneous and inaccurate claim that it was an, "isolated" incident, that is a blatant lie. Even if it were, how many citizens have an isolated incident and pay a hefty price at the hands of Miami Beach Police. 

They are a costly embarrassment to the city, at times, and need to be kept on a short leash.    

Cts Limo Cts Limo
Cts Limo Cts Limo

Why did they hire a police chief from a hick town where everything shots down at 22:00? They should have hired someone who comes from an urban 34/7 type of environment

DrumRollPlease
DrumRollPlease

Check the history of clubs and noise violations.  I think everybody in the city moved once they figured out the city was working with nightclubs and offering them protection.  Code and police tag team who gets to void out a disturbance call.  The issue goes beyond the police and starts with city hall. 

Call_the_Ball
Call_the_Ball

This idea was floated in the past - The reality is, South Beach explodes every weekend with hordes of intoxicated people...Some, catching the cruise ship the next day...Some locals looking for a buzz...Some are the gang bangers and thugs looking for just about anything. This is not some luxurious "no-show" gig... Imagine working 10 hours - then go stand in front of a loud, packed nightclub for another 4 or 5 hours? The fights...the drunks...the grind is hardly worth the extra $150 (pre-tax) income. The 15 or so, extra cops at the clubs is what keeps a lid on the city...simple as that.  Who do you suppose is against these cops at the clubs? The drug dealers...the scumbags who want to carry that GHB passed out chick to their car...The steroid-fueled bouncers who just turned a dude's face into steak tartare..Those peeps...



frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

.............well here in BROWARD COUNTY the SHERIFF's office recently was bought by rothstein BECAUSE IT WAS FOR SALE

as long as most visitors and guest snow-birds DO NOT VOTE here the corruption will pervade politics and law enforcement including local yokel judges = period

a typical MBPD office can make over $100,ooo in OVERTIME alone during "the season" as the population swells to include all the tourists

YEAR-ROUND residents are second-class citizens - you want "community" then MOVE TO BOCA or PALM BEACH

frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

......................in ft liqourdale the FLPD covered up for a savage animal bouncer at DIRTY BLONDEs............then a video of the incident came out............ARNALD THOMAS DARRAH was charged with felony battery suckerpunching out from behind a girl a patron who then was brutally stomped on his head WHILE ON THE GROUND by this savage animal bouncer who was initially protected by ft liquordale's finest

once the police become the protectors of crime it's game over for civilization and liberty = period

Hugo Marin
Hugo Marin

Police officers work for the public, they're not overseers. So what makes cops think they can bully people into doing what they want? Ever wonder why Miami Beach police do not have dash cams in their cars???

Julio Cesar Toro
Julio Cesar Toro

I guess I understand everyone has the right to work an extra job if desired, but I'm glad these off duty police security guards ate finally being regulated. I feel like these power-hungry cops are more into abusing the citizen's rights for their own gain and entertainment than to actually protect them. Anyways, we all know how crooked the police can be in South FL.

DrumRollPlease
DrumRollPlease

The police union is a private corporation that should be banished from Miami Beach.  These clubs have hundreds of complaint calls and would be considered a nuisance and closed in any other city.  The police have been covering up the problems in these clubs to keep overtime pay.  The city of Miami Beach has a police union that the residents cannot control.  Instead of asking the city to close the clubs the police are still asking for the right to work in them and collect more pension fraud.  A sick joke on the citizens and tourist who get stuck in these garbage bins. 

Maribel Campa
Maribel Campa

No he should be punished like he does to others

Andrew Foster
Andrew Foster

Poor cops and their bloated salaries... Now where else can they beat people up and get paid for it? Now maybe they'll have to get a respectable side job, oh the shame.

Tony Prieto
Tony Prieto

The chief decided that because of a few idiots that can't control themselves, he would take away their opportunity to make extra money. You don't take $15,000 away from a bunch of cops and get away with it. The union will fight all they can.

Curt Notree
Curt Notree

Im sure the are more stories of badge flashers acting unruly working the nightclub scene... dont get short on sight

Patricia Nelson Miller
Patricia Nelson Miller

Typical, they bring in some "mop up" guy who knows nothing about the department and, because one guy gets out of hand, disrupts the entire city. It is ludicrous and evidence of what his tenure has in store for everyone.

Why_Wclif_why
Why_Wclif_why

@cargon786  Clearly you have issues...maybe an old DUI is still causing a sting...  So I ask the question:  What's the downside to off duty cops in the city -after their shift is over...Being compensated by a private business that has a need for heightened security? Seriously?  I remember Ocean Drive used to be bumper to bumper with gang bangers cruising the strip... A few shootings in those days...Robberies where off the hook...You had better not venture onto the sand after 11 PM.


So, just be honest here...and be honest about your issues.

frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

................yes and has continued SINCE the clubs first opened fifty plus years ago

frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

...................................WHY NOT JUST close the clubs at a respectable hour ?

don't the year-round RESIDENTs have a say ?

frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

......................as long as there is corruption there will never be a community spirit

frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

.....................the corruption is so pervasive these business are going to have to pay protection money anyhow so they might as well get a few off-duty cops to stand around

most of these posts in ft liquordale are no-show under-the-table off-duty gigs for the cops especially on the beach

resident complaints are ignored = period

cargon786
cargon786

@Why_Wclif_why @cargon786 No DUI. Yes on having issues, but they are aligned to the issues the chief of police has. They are overtime abuse, a lack of controls, no oversight, police misconduct and the longstanding culture of the Miami Beach Police Department. 

No problem with private business paying police officers to perform security details, although it has a protracted cost to taxpayers with retirement and pensions. That notwithstanding, there must be increased controls in place to ensure off-duty programs are operated with fidelity.  

Now, what are your issues? 

Paris_Island
Paris_Island

@frankd4  Not a bad idea...  5 AM license is a burden for city services.  Even a 3 AM last call would be a serious improvement.

SoBeBaztard
SoBeBaztard

@cargon786 @Why_Wclif_why  No problem with private business paying police officers to perform security details, although it has a protracted cost to taxpayers with retirement and pensions -


Simply not true... All off-duty is 1099 work.

frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

..................i have learned from the BIZ that after midnight sales account for 70 % - 80 % of their revenue and after 2PM sales to close are the highest of any two hour period - so there is a STRONG financial incentive to push early morning closings

the problem i have with it is are politicians and city administrators working for the "residents" or the "tourists"

residents vote BUT tourists pay the bills so its a constant war

Why_Wclif_why
Why_Wclif_why

@frankd4  Plus...the "party-goer" at large will just adjust to the new hours. Instead of the 12 PM start - they will learn to go out around 10 PM for the 3 am close.  Just look at any city that has the 1:30 last call - the peeps are out at 9.

frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

@Why_Wclif_why @frankd4


in NYC where time is MONEY..........many bars have promoted to much success the cocktail happy hour during the SUNDAY brunch period (10AM to 1PM)..................which attracts serious partiers from SAT PM / SUN AM to keep going


i'm just too olde to stay UP late without it effecting me the rest of the week SO a SUNDAY blaster would be just fine with me

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