Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Police Memorial Dedicated at the Port of Miami

Today Miami-Dade County unveiled a statue dedicated to those police officers who serve above and beyond the call of duty at the Port of Miami. The nearly life-size bronze sculpture by world renowned artist Bobby Brittero depicts a police officer being carried away by fellow officers after succumbing to fatigue brought on by working between 60 and 90-hours overtime during a two-week pay period. His last words are immortalized at the base of the statue: "Just One More Truck..."

"These police truck inspectors are our first line of defense against terrorism," a county spokesman said on condition of anonymity. When asked why he wanted to remain anonymous, he replied, "Do you know how much these guys make? Because of overtime, they're pulling in between $170,000 to $180,000 a year. Including their base pay, that's costing the county-- you and me-- over $18 million a year. Critics say these jobs could be handled cheaper by security guards. It's controversial, man."

According to the Miami Herald, many of the officers have been assigned to the Port because at some point in their careers there comes a time when "'they need to be sent somewhere where they aren't interacting with the public on a daily basis. This was one of those places,' said Capt. Gary Shimminger.

'Every organization has its Siberia,' added Sgt. Norberto Gonzalez."

Aside from the fact that fatigue may hamper their job performance in keeping Miami safe, we think the county's program of removing potential "Dirty Harries" from the street and sending them to "Siberia" probably more than pays for itself when one considers how much money the county won't have to pay out in lawsuits brought on by citizens who have been manhandled or shot by the same people who have sworn to serve and protect them.

Of course the downside to this program is that it might encourage more police officers to rough up the public to get to "Siberia." Only time will tell.


Curious said...

"Capt. Gary Shimminger"? "Norberto Gonzalez"? Are those real names? Or are you just making them up?

MVB StandUp Comic said...

They're real names. There are some things you just can't make up, like rutabagas. You got a problem with funny names? There are probably more people living here than any other place in the world with the possible exception of certain parts of New Jersey who have funny names. It may have something to do with our location in the universe. We may be the nexus of the universe for funny, from names to the way we behave. If that weren't so, how come every time I open the Miami Herald, I find something I can use in my standup act down at the MVB Lounge on Calle Ocho? The truth be told, it's way too easy to be a standup comic in Miami. Unfortunately, there aren't a lot of people in this town who get the jokes because they don't care about politics and are uninformed. Or, as I've come to find out, are way too sensitive about politics-- especially the easily agitated Cuban population who are wildly indignant about nearly everything dealing with Castro and free speech. But, alas, I digress. That's something for my standup act down at the lounge-- now being performed behind a steel net to protect me from flying "projectiles," which, by the way, I consider a funny word unless, of course, it pops through the net and hits you in the face. Then it becomes a "fighting word."

Artie Fartzie said...

How about "Bobby Brittero"? Is that a made up name? I'm an art critic for the Miami Herald and I never heard of him. In fact, I went down to the Port to check out the sculpture and couldn't find it. I think you're making all of this up. You should be ashamed.

Verticus said...

What? You didn't see it at the entrance to the new port tunnel they're going to dig? It's hard to miss. Maybe you were expecting something bigger for what the sculpture cost taxpayers. Since the tunnel project will cost at a minimum $1.2 billion, 1.5% by law goes to public art. That comes to $18 million. I know, you were thinking maybe we should have got more for the money, right? Maybe something the size of the Iwo Jima Marine Corp memorial in D.C.? Well, times have changed, Mr. Fartzie. The price of bronze, like concrete, has gone up. The concrete base alone for the port sculpture cost $3 million and the marble sheathing $5 million. What with all of the bribes that had to be paid here and there, we're lucky we got away with a sculpture "nearly lifesize." To find the sculpture, look in the sky for a circling flock of pigeons. They will lead you to the memorial of the overworked port police officer which is behind an evergreen bush just south of the port tunnel entrance. If you drive too fast, you'll miss it.

Dominick Colucci said...

I personally know Capt. Gary Shimminger so no he is not making it up