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post #21 of 92 Old 01-29-2019
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Re: Unlawful boating tickets, government extortion!!!

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Originally Posted by SeaStar58 View Post
Most police officers will play nice with you if you play nice with them is really what I have seen.

I did serve as a police data consultant in Florida so have spent some extended time assisting officers with court, jail and prison data systems on a State, County and Local level so I may be a bit Pro-Police due to that. In all that association I had not once encountered a situation where the police went out of their way to harass or be unfair but found quite the opposite to be true that for the most part they go out of their way to give even known convicted felons fair and decent treatment even when the person they are dealing with starts to cross the line. Unfortunately its not the hundreds of thousands of calls for service done above and beyond the call of duty that get National attention but the small handful every few months or years that fall short that are used to typecast all officers.

This situation appears to have gaps as there should have been at least notices left on the boat duplicated by the ones the officer showed up with at the door on both calls. Yes this all could just be a troll for someones amusement to get police haters all in a frenzy. The ticketing software should have triggered the visits by the police due to past due response on the tickets. For the past 20 to 30 years most police forces in any community with more that a small handful of officers will be using a dedicated police and jail management package of some kind tied in with the courts along with 911 to manage and track all of this. This isn't 1950's Mayberry.
I have found its better to consider the facts of the situation rather than make assumptions.

Here in NY we have about 1000 political units, either towns or cities. Quite often the officials make little money, do it for the prestige, or the graft. And just as often they are elected to one term and then gone, with no training ever. I'm very serious. I myself am a sworn town official. As a result of these municipal boards, the oversight of the police departments is uneven and sometimes extremely negligent, or is considered an inside track to political support. Despite this incompetent oversight, and despite the widespread ignorance of our uneducated town justices the LE officers for the most part hold up decent standards, However, there are many officers out there on boats and on land, essentially given very broad powers and very little meaningful oversight. The results of that on any group of humans will lead to some abuses of power and it does. The police on the Hudson got a lot of very bad publicity for their habit of stopping any boat with bikinis on board and many other equally egregious behaviors. As a result they themselves moderated their behavior but you never know what you may get. Many, if not most cops, if they put the lights on, write you a very expensive ticket. And enforcement is often very uneven to say the least.

So, as I wrote, I have seen both good and not so good.

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Last edited by Sal Paradise; 01-29-2019 at 10:16 PM.
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post #22 of 92 Old 01-29-2019
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Re: Unlawful boating tickets, government extortion!!!

Ah. Another citizen being treated with respect and dignity by the law enforcement offices of the state of Florida! Absolutely shocking! NOT!

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post #23 of 92 Old 01-29-2019
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Re: Unlawful boating tickets, government extortion!!!

Seastar-
Mayberry is still out there. I've known a number of hard working underpaid good LEOs. And, it only takes one apple to ruin the barrel. Or perhaps you never heard of NYC's Sullivan Commission, to reform the NYPD? Or the NY Metropolitans, the first NYC PD which was so corrupt that the state shut it down after the Civil War. Replaced from scratch with the current NYPD. The NYPD doesn't like to mention that in their online history.
Long time ago a friend of mine was ticketed by a friendly town cop for not having his car registration sticker. He'd just had the car reinspected and the station was out of stickers, so they stamped his registration card--which was all that the law required at the time. Stamp or sticker, either one.
So I go to traffic court with him, he's got the certified motor vehicle laws with him. Five guys are declared guilty and told to pay the exact same ticket. he gets up, shows the "magistrate" the law, dismissed. What about the other five guys? Yeah, they had already been found guilty and had to pay--even though the magistrate AND the cop both apparently knew this was against the law. It was a racket they worked to make money, even the ABA has remarked that many if not most upstate NY villages have similar problems and if they're innocent--they're too stupid to be in office.

In the OP's case? Dunno. Never spent time fraternizing with the folks in Melbourne FL. Wouldn't want to place any bets on it though, given the way that Florida has so many places where the rich really want to get rid of the vagrant boat trash. (Or anyone who can't afford a megayacht in a proper slip.)
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post #24 of 92 Old 01-30-2019
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Re: Unlawful boating tickets, government extortion!!!

Sal - Since we were talking about a situation in Florida where I have served multiple jurisdictions I am considering the facts here and not in NYC. Yes there are small towns in Florida with only a handful of officers which I clearly stated were not as sophisticated but Melbourne, whom I have worked with on some projects, is not really a small town like Mayberry with it having a population of over 82,000 and 169 sworn police officers. Their Marine Patrol division works with the County Sheriff, Coast Guard and Homeland Security. Their City Boating code regulates where you may and may not moor a boat along with allows for abandoned or unprotected boats to be ticketed or removed and destroyed. They are concerned with people mooring boats and leaving them unattended on public waters where they weather, rot and sink to then be abandoned which is a felony offense in Florida.

This is the area in question off of Ballard Park and its not a very big waterway with plenty of room for mooring boats plus it appears there are several sunken vessels already out there so potentially a known trouble spot with a public park, businesses, marinas and yes private homes in the area:
https://www.google.com/maps/place/Ba...!4d-80.6249955
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post #25 of 92 Old 01-30-2019
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Re: Unlawful boating tickets, government extortion!!!

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This is the area in question off of Ballard Park and its not a very big waterway with plenty of room for mooring boats plus it appears there are several sunken vessels already out there so potentially a known trouble spot with a public park, businesses, marinas and yes private homes in the area:
Anchor off Ballard park on occasion on the snowbird route, Last time in May 2018. Not a lot of room but have not seen any sunken boats in that anchorage since my first stop there in about 96'. I have been slightly harassed in the Melbourne area a few times while anchored. Never stayed more than one night. Not at all a welcoming area for cruisers.
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post #26 of 92 Old 01-30-2019
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Re: Unlawful boating tickets, government extortion!!!

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Anchor off Ballard park on occasion on the snowbird route, Last time in May 2018. Not a lot of room but have not seen any sunken boats in that anchorage since my first stop there in about 96'. I have been slightly harassed in the Melbourne area a few times while anchored. Never stayed more than one night. Not at all a welcoming area for cruisers.
Satellite view appears to show a number of submerged boats West of the park inside the inlet so either they are very proactive about cleaning them up or you've been very fortunate to not have run into them. Check out the Google Maps Satellite view at the link I provided so you can see what I was describing.

No it does not look like a great destination or stopping point for a cruiser unless you make a reservation at one of the marinas. I have not been involved there since they dismantled the Space Shuttle program when I was working on that project with Embry-Riddle, NASA and BAE. Yes I have worn a lot of different hats over the years.

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post #27 of 92 Old 01-30-2019
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Re: Unlawful boating tickets, government extortion!!!

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Satellite view appears to show a number of submerged boats West of the park inside the inlet so either they are very proactive about cleaning them up or you've been very fortunate to not have run into them. Check out the Google Maps Satellite view at the link I provided so you can see what I was describing.

No it does not look like a great destination or stopping point for a cruiser unless you make a reservation at one of the marinas. I have not been involved there since they dismantled the Space Shuttle program when I was working on that project with Embry-Riddle, NASA and BAE. Yes I have worn a lot of different hats over the years.
I went to Google Maps and see only three boats at anchor and all appear to be floating, this is typical of what I have seen since 96'. It is a nice anchorage but both sides of the Indian River (Ballard Park & Dragon Point) in that area are well known among snowbirders for mild harrassment by watercops and making it difficult to get ashore even for a stroll. It is made quite clear that we are not welcome.

We usually anchor around the yellow "X"
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post #28 of 92 Old 01-30-2019
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Re: Unlawful boating tickets, government extortion!!!

Heck I've anchored in Melbourne 5 times the last 2 years and never even seen a water cop. In fact I've never have a Florida water cop ask me anything, ever!
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post #29 of 92 Old 01-30-2019
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Re: Unlawful boating tickets, government extortion!!!

Great research, remind me not to get into an argument with you in the future! Love the no trespassing sign idea. It will be interesting to see what the judge does with the tickets. Sounds like your neighbors don't like the boat anchored in front of their homes.

Fight on!
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Re: Unlawful boating tickets, government extortion!!!

I see two questionable objects in the water, not clear at all as to what they might be, SW of Ballard Park, but that's about it. Considering this is a 2019 image and there are probably wrecks from last years's hurricanes still around, the photographic "proof" says nothing, and shows reasonably unobstructed waters, IMO.

Seastar, you say this is FL not NYC. Right. Do you have any idea how many NYPD officers quit (not just retire, but quit) and move down to FL every year because they feel there is too much pressure on them to "behave" in NYC? I knew one who has on his second reprimand and talking about moving down to FL where things were more lax and he wouldn't be questioned as hard on what he did.

Then there's a report, maybe 2-3 years old, where the FDLE investigated some 2000 officer-involved shootings, including deaths, over something like the last decade. The official conclusion was that ALL OF THEM were justified, no mistakes had ever been made. Really? No mistakes at all, ever?

There's good cops, and crooked cops, and cops who should be in a simpler line of work, all over the world. Nothing exclusive about cops, or Florida, that way.

The OP's complaint was that he was being written up, without warning, for a violation that didn't really exist. That kind of bogus enforcement campaign happens, sad to say, in too many places. Its called politics.

And lacking all the facts, there's still no way to say what the real problem is.
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