Meet NMPD Assistant Chief Neal Cuevas

Neal CuevasNorth Miami’s newest Assistant Police Chief Neal Cuevas is a 42 year veteran of the NMPD.  He joined the department as a police officer in 1975 at a time when the city had very little diversity, and its police department had none.  In fact, Officer Cuevas was the first Hispanic ever hired by the NMPD, and his all-white colleagues never let him forget that he didn’t belong.

Despite that hostile environment, or perhaps because of it, Officer Cuevas was determined to prove himself worthy of wearing the badge.  Not only did he exceed all expectations, but he certainly raised the bar.

While his humble goal was to simply represent the very best that the law enforcement profession had to offer, Cuevas unwittingly became the standard bearer for the hundreds of minority police officers who have joined the North Miami Police Department in the years since he came on board.  He went on to make history as the first Hispanic Sergeant, Lieutenant, Major and now Assistant Police Chief. Continue reading


Meet NMPD Assistant Chief Robert Bage

Robert BageBorn, raised and educated in the City of North Miami, newly appointed Assistant Chief Robert Bage is more than ready to take on the challenges of his position.  To Robert Bage, North Miami is not just a job, it’s his home.

By the time he was hired as a police officer by the North Miami Police Department in 1999, Robert Bage had already served as a Petty Officer Third Class for the United States Navy from 1994 to 1996, a Lifeguard for the Town of Surfside from 1996 to 1998, and a Border Patrol Agent for the United States Border Patrol from 1998 to 1999.

During his career with the North Miami Police Department, Robert Bage attended Florida International University, earning a Bachelor of Arts Degree in 2005 with a major in psychology and a minor in criminal justice.  In 2012, he attended a Law Enforcement Training Session at the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia, and in 2013, he received a Master in Public Administration from Barry University. Continue reading


Meet NMPD’s New A-Team!

NMPD TEAM AWESOMENorth Miami Police Chief Gary Eugene just announced his new vision for the organization of the department, appointed members to his Command Staff, and made two promotions.

Two Officers were promoted to Sergeant – Crystal Thompson, who was hired by the NMPD on June 6, 2006, and Britany Michelle Horn, who was hired on November 6, 2008.

Commander Timothy A. Belcher, who has been with the department since December 11, 1992, was promoted to Major.

Sergeant Rafael J. Estrugo, hired on April 12, 1999, was promoted to Commander.

Sergeant Emile C. Hollant, hired on November 29, 2000, was promoted to Commander.

Major Neal Cuevas, hired June 30, 1975, and Major Robert Bage, hired on June 4, 1999, are the North Miami Police Department’s new Assistant Chiefs.


Stephanie Kienzle
“Spreading the Wealth”



Opa-locka Update: The hole keeps getting deeper.

first law of holesIt sure is a shame that Opa-locka city officials didn’t heed the sage advice of Will Rogers, who said, “If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.”

On the contrary, as recently as last week, acting city manager Yvette Harrell threw all caution to the wind when she pillaged a restricted account in order to cover payroll checks.  Apparently, the Ghost of Kelvin Baker still haunts Opa-locka City Hall.

Although he resigned as city manager last July (and was quickly snatched up by the City of Lauderdale Lakes), his Opa-locka protégés apparently took their cue from Kelvin’s “very special brand of creative budgeting” by illegally depleting reserve accounts to cover municipal expenses. Continue reading


Chief Lenny’s Incompetence: The gift that keeps on giving!

you sir are a failureOn April 25, 2016, in Chief Lenny’s Epic Fail,  I reported that the North Miami Police Department failed it’s accreditation assessment performed by the Commission for Florida Law Enforcement Accreditation.

One week later, this stunning failure led to the abrupt – and humiliating – resignation of then Chief of Police Leonard Burgess.

In typical Lenny fashion, he refused to man up and take responsibility for the wreckage he single-handedly created.  He then spent the next seven days desperately searching for someone or something else to blame.  When he finally ran out of scapegoats, Chief Lenny simply took his toys and went home to Miramar.

Unfortunately for the City of North Miami and its Police Department, the fallout from the loss of state accreditation is far from over. Continue reading


BREAKING: Gary Eugene appointed as North Miami’s Chief of Police

Gary EugeneThe City Manager of North Miami, Larry M. Spring, appointed Interim Chief Gary Eugene as the permanent Chief of Police, effective today.

In a press release, Mr. Spring stated:

While the selection process was completed internally, and all applicants had overall credentials, Chief Eugene’s experience, knowledge, and perspective on community policing stood out the most. I have full confidence that Chief Eugene will continue to move the department forward and I am pleased to be working alongside a former colleague from the City of Miami.”

In addition to an impressive resume, Continue reading


Terrorism in Orlando. When will enough be enough? (UPDATED)

Ramadan-Bombathon-2016I woke up to the devastating news that 20 people (UPDATE: at least 50 people) were killed in a popular gay nightclub in Orlando early this morning.  The gunman was killed in a gunfight with the SWAT team.  The mass shooting is being classified as an act of terrorism by the FBI, and it has now come to light that the killer was an Islamic extremist named Omar Mateen from Port St. Lucie and allegedly born to Afghan parents.

As unspeakable as this is, absolutely no one should be shocked.  Anti-gay violence by Muslims is the norm in Europe and the Middle East.  It was only a matter of time before it spread to our shores.

Last July, I posted Where is the outrage?,  begging the leadership in the gay community to take its collective head out of the sand and start demanding a response to the savagery. Continue reading

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