Miami's police union is getting ready to vote on whether they have confidence in Chief Art Acevedo as a citizens panel began its probe into the complaints filed over damage on the chief's department vehicle.
“As of today, we have sent out a confidence survey in the Chief, and whether they have confidence in his ability to lead the department or they don’t have the confidence (in his ability) to lead the department,” said union president Tommy Reyes.
Prompting the current flare-up between the rank and file union officers and Acevedo are photos taken by Reyes showing the damage to the front bumper of the police chief’s black SUV. The complaint filed anonymously with the Citizens Investigative Panel alleges Acevedo broke the department’s rules.
The complaint says, "It is obvious the vehicle either struck an object or was struck by an object. No police report was generated to document the damages as required by the City of Miami Departmental Orders."
”It’s going to be publicized. It's going to be handed over to the city leadership—to the commissioners—to the mayor and to the manager and so they can see how their employees feel," Reyes said regarding the vote.
The chief, through a spokesperson, said he’s done nothing wrong and followed the rules. He says all this is an attempt to hinder his efforts to improve the department.
The City Manager Art Noriega sent a statement saying, “Although I have personally reviewed the facts surrounding Chief Acevedo’s unmarked vehicle incident, I welcome the investigation the Civilian Investigative Panel has initiated. It is very unfortunate however that yet again this seems to be another attempt by the Fraternal Order of Police to baselessly undermine our Police Chief.”
The Citizens Panel is in the unusual position of investigating the person they would normally send their findings to with a recommendation for discipline.
“So just like any complaint we open, we receive it, we give it a case number and assign it to an investigator," Rodney Jacobs, the Assistant Director of the Miami Citizens Investigative Panel said on the way to the meeting. "So, we try to do our best to do as much as we can to gather all the evidence — ensure the investigation is unbiased, impartial and then we come to our panel once again for them to make a finding of fact.”
All this is going to end up on the City Manager’s desk. The City Commission next week on Monday is going to also have a meeting to talk about the Chief and how they think things are going so far.