Miami Police Chief Calls For End to FHP 'Feud' - NBC 6 South Florida

Miami Police Chief Calls For End to FHP 'Feud'

Chief Orosa admits Miami PD pulled over trooper, says 'issues have to stop'



    Miami Police Chief Calls For End to FHP 'Feud'
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    Miami Police

    Miami's police chief called for an end Thursday to any possible feud his department may have with the Florida Highway Patrol, and disciplined one of his officers for pulling a trooper over in an incident earlier this week.

    "Whatever issues may be out there have to stop, and stop now," Chief Manuel Orosa told reporters, according to the Miami Herald.

    Orosa spoke with the media after he held a meeting with more than 40 officers early Thursday at a police department auditorium.

    Tensions began last month, after the chase and arrest of a Miami Police officer at gunpoint by a FHP trooper on the Florida Turnpike in Broward County.

    FHP Trooper D.J. Watts took Officer Fausto Lopez into custody on the morning of Oct. 11 after he was stopped for driving over 120 mph, according to the FHP.

    Lopez was hit with a reckless driving charge, and the VP of Miami's police union blasted Watts' actions.

    On Tuesday, Miami Police seemingly returned the favor, pulling over an FHP trooper on the turnpike extension outside Miami city limits.

    Raw Video: Trooper Arrests Cop

    [MI] RAW VIDEO: FHP Trooper Arrests Miami Police Officer
    Officer Fausto Lopez is taken into custody at gunpoint by a Florida Highway Patrol trooper for allegedly speeding and driving recklessly.
    (Published Monday, Oct. 31, 2011)

    Orosa acknowledged the latest incident, but said there was no "tit-for-tat going on out there."

    Hours later, Orosa released a statement, saying the officer, Thomas Vokaty, had been disciplined for the incident.

    "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 or the professional men and women who work for us," Orosa said. "This Miami Police officer had no jurisdictional authority to conduct this stop.  As a result, I took immediate disciplinary action in accordance with departmental policies."

    Also on Thursday, a photo surfaced on Facebook of an officer in a blonde wig arresting a second officer in a dark wig. Both officers are wearing Hialeah Police uniforms. The department spokesman confirmed that they had been advised about the photo and were conducting an internal investigation to see who violated the social media policy.

    Click Here For Officer Vokaty's Discipline Document [PDF]

    Orosa also said his department has a good relationship with the FHP.

    "The Miami Police Officer’s traffic stop by a Florida Highway Patrol trooper has generated much media attention and speculation that there is ‘animosity between the two agencies,’" Orosa said. "I’d like to make it clear that the Miami Police Department and Florida Highway Patrol have a professional, cordial relationship.  It is one we have enjoyed for many years."

    On Saturday, a FHP trooper's patrol car was found covered in human feces in his driveway in Miami. FHP spokesman Mark Wysocky said Wednesday he didn't know if the feces incident had anything to do with the Turnpike arrest.

    "We don't know, we don't have any witnesses, we don't have anything," Wysocky said. "We're not attributing it to anything right now."