Now that North Miami Police Chief Gary Eugene and his stellar command staff have taken over the once embattled department, crime has gone down and morale has skyrocketed. Officers have finally received new cars and equipment, and promotions have resulted in more diversity in the department.
Chief Eugene also made sweeping changes in the organization, eliminating the frat house atmosphere fostered by his predecessor, and ushered in a new era of professionalism.
Gone are the days of bumbling investigations headed by dumb-jock-turned-cop Assistant Chief Larry Juriga.
Gone are the days of the amateur Public Information Officer.
Gone are the days of unattended guns in the police lobby.
Gone are the days of death threats made by police communication employees.
Gone are the days of Chief Lenny’s Handy Dandy Crime Fighting Message Board!
Obviously, the North Miami Police Department was in desperate need of new leadership. Chief Gary Eugene’s appointment is heralded as that much needed change. Everything at the department is finally moving in the right direction.
Chief Gary Eugene made it a priority to clean up the mess he inherited by replacing the dead wood with competent professionals. His first order of business was to turn the police department’s investigative division over from Assistant Chief Larry Juriga to one of his newly appointed Assistant Chiefs, Robert Bage.
This move was even more critical given Juriga’s deliberately botched “investigation” of an even bigger screw up – the shooting of an unarmed black man by Officer Jonathan Aledda, an obviously under-trained (and questionably hired) SWAT team member.
Not so coincidentally, one of members of Juriga’s investigative team was Sergeant Angel Rivera, who also happened to be the SWAT team supervisor. Needless to say, it was in both of their best interests to come up with a plan to cover for Aledda. They then decided to implicate one of Chief Eugene’s newly promoted commanders, Emile Hollant, who was promptly suspended without pay based on false allegations made against him by Juriga and Rivera. They even conspired with their lapdog PIO to leak false information to the media and push the false narrative that Commander Hollant was to blame for the shooting.
Even worse, several people at City hall believe that, despite being ordered to stand down, Juriga and Rivera took it upon themselves to file their own complaint with the State Attorney’s Office against Commander Hollant. Their strategy backfired once the State Attorney’s Office cleared Commander Hollant of all wrongdoing within days. Although he is back on the payroll, Hollant cannot return to work until the NMPD’s administrative investigation is completed.
Fortunately, Juriga and Rivera are off the case. In fact, Rivera quit and abandoned the SWAT team within minutes of being transferred out of the investigation unit.
Unfortunately, however, the self-dubbed Illuminati, ruled by Larry Juriga, have only stepped up intent to undermine Gary Eugene, who is Haitian, and almost every one of the individuals he promoted and appointed. As expected, all of their intended targets are minorities. In addition to Commander Hollant, who is also Haitian, the Illuminati are intent on discrediting newly appointed Assistant Chief Neal Cuevas and Commander Ralph Estrugo, both of whom are Hispanics, Commander Timothy Belcher and Commander Angelo Brinson, both African Americans, and Major Donald Blanchard, who is Haitian American.
Membership in the “exclusive” NMPD Illuminati is mostly made up of the descendants of the old white guard of North Miami and a few hand-picked minority officers deemed useful to the cause. Although there is a smattering of blacks, Hispanics and Haitians allowed entry onto its hallowed roster, the newfangled “diversity” of the Illuminati only occurred in recent years due to the changing face of North Miami’s demographics. Much to their dismay, I’m sure.
It’s hardly a secret that Juriga and his cronies were firmly against Gary Eugene’s appointment as Chief of Police. In fact, Juriga would have been first in line to apply for the job had he not foolishly extorted more than $32,000.00 in a cash settlement (not to mention a totally undeserved permanent pay increase and lifetime health insurance coverage) from North Miami taxpayer coffers. Instead, because of the ridiculous complaint he filed with the EEOC after overhearing former City Manager Aleem Ghany refer to him as a redneck, Larry Juriga kissed the chance of any future promotion goodbye.
Nevertheless, as the head of the investigative division of the NMPD since 1999, Larry Juriga has held a unique position of power for over 17 years. The length of his term is highly unusual. For purposes of career development, it’s customary in large police departments such as North Miami, to rotate division head positions on average of every three to five years. That Juriga managed to stake his claim for nearly two decades in such a desirable position is just another example of how the members of the “Illuminati” have been able to maintain a stranglehold over the police administration.
By removing Larry Juriga from this key position of power, Police Chief Gary Eugene in essence destroyed the decades old monopoly of nepotism, and last vestiges of inherent racism, that had prevented any but the chosen few from advancing through the ranks of the North Miami Police Department.
With the appointment of Gary Eugene as the Chief of Police, the Illuminati’s stranglehold over the North Miami Police Department finally came to an abrupt end.
But the constant mud-slinging and backstabbing continues.
An unprecedented number of grievances and complaints have been filed regarding Gary Eugene’s appointments and promotions. All have been filed by white officers – à la Larry Juriga’s bogus complaint, and outrageous hush-money settlement, for being referred to as a redneck – complaining that minorities are being promoted ahead of them.
And yet, not one of the Illuminati complained when any white males were being promoted.
Case in point: None of them are attacking the newly promoted Assistant Chief Robert Bage.
But, the Illuminati went ballistic over Chief Eugene’s appointment of Neal Cuevas as his other Assistant Chief.
This Hispanic, 42-year veteran of the North Miami Police Department, who has withstood incredible bigotry during the course of his career, continues to incur the envious wrath of his white privileged co-workers, any one of whom would wither in the face of such adversity. Out of sheer jealousy, the Illuminati continue to disparage Assistant Chief Cuevas’ many accomplishments, including and especially, the fact that he is the city’s only recipient of the North Miami Police Department’s highest award, the Medal of Honor.
One such Illuminati member was so green with envy, he felt compelled to send a city-wide email whining that Cuevas didn’t deserve his accolade, and he self-flagellated by, well, I won’t repeat it here.
Meanwhile, despite all the crap he’s has to put up with, Chief Eugene continues to remake the NMPD into the professional law enforcement agency that North Miami residents deserve.
There are no more dog-and-pony show Walk & Talks.
There are no flag football games, no 911 operators asleep at the wheel, no bungled crime scene investigations.
Just good, old fashioned police work, catching criminals, and and keeping the streets of North Miami safe for all of its residents.