Who hasn’t seen a police car whizzing by every so often wondered whether the driver was en route to a crime or just rushing to get home? It turns out that in at least some of those cases, the police cars seen speeding around town are not conducting official police business, at least according to an investigation conducted by the Sun Sentinel.
In a report published Sunday, the newspaper says it spent three months analyzing SunPass records and conducting its own research to see how fast South Florida cops were traveling.
According to the newspaper, the investigation found nearly 800 cops from 12 police agencies routinely drove 90 to 130 mph over the past year, with over half doing so outside their jurisdictions and probably when they were off-duty.
The report also highlighted that one out of five police cars hit speeds above 90 mph, with a 5,100 high speed incidents in just over a year and that most of the high speeds clocked were between 90 and 110 mph.
City of Miami police appeared to be the most egregious offenders, according to the investigation, as it claimed to find that 143 cops drove over 90 mph outside city limits, with more than 50 driving faster than 100 mph at least once.
The information was met with expected concern by police administrators.
"Clearly it's a problem we need to deal with,” Miami Police Maj. Jorge Colina told the newspaper.
Cops from six Broward police departments were found driving at least 90 mph outside the cities where they work, according to the report, drawing the ire of administrators in the county.
"If we have officers who are not responding to an emergency and they're driving to or from work at 100 mph, I have a problem with that, and so does the chief," Plantation Police Detective Robert Rettig told the Sentinel, adding that those found doing so would be disciplined.
Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office police also were found guilty of speeding as almost 30 percent of the transponders assigned to the department showed speeds above 90 mph, but mostly within the county, the report showed.
Agencies in all three counties said they would be investigating the situation, reported the Sentinel.