With a “no confidence” vote looming today by Miami’s Fraternal Order of Police on Chief John Timoney, the Miami Herald explores “an escalation of tensions between his administration and the Fraternal Order of Police.” Timoney blames the controversy over his free use of a vehicle over a “conspiracy hatched” at a recent union conference. ”I’m not going anywhere soon. My commitment is to [Mayor] Manny Diaz, and he’s got at least two years and four months” left in his term, Timoney said.
The union’s gripes are that Timoney’s administration overemphasizes crime statistic accountability, dishes out uneven discipline, and has a heavy-handed management. Timoney disputes the union’s contentions about statistics and discipline. With regard to the case of the auto dealer who let him drive a new SUV free of charge for more than a year, Timoney has been quick to show profuse contrition. Hired in 2002, Timoney has stayed in the post longer than most big-city police chiefs. He has widely been credited with reforms, instituting stricter use-of-force policies that have drastically cut down on officer-involved shootings. ”Keep cops out of trouble. That’s our mantra here,” says Timoney, a media-friendly chief who appears as a television commentator on anti-terrorism issues. The union complains that the department’s reliance on Compstat, a computerized system of tracking crime trends, has caused morale to plummet. Said Timoney: “You work hard, and the numbers will be fine.”