Home » Miami Beach Police Got A Rolls-Royce And People Are Mad About It

Miami Beach Police Got A Rolls-Royce And People Are Mad About It

Miami Police Rolls Royce
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Police cars are usually utilitarian vehicles built for purpose. They’re designed to deal with the wear and tear of the job, inside and out, while typical luxuries are dispensed with. In Miami Beach, though, one department has caught plenty of attention with a Rolls-Royce wearing the local police livery.

You might imagine a frumpy British ultraluxe saloon would be a poor performer for police work. You’d be right. Instead, the vehicle is intended to aid the department’s recruitment efforts. It’s eye-catching, certainly, but new recruits should hardly expect to be patrolling the streets in such a vehicle.

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The Rolls was decked out in a black-and-white wrap, while scoring a rooftop lightbar and flashers in the grille. The department’s promotional video for the car proudly features the Rolls-Royce mascot, the Spirit of Ecstasy, as well as thrumming trap beats as a soundtrack. It made quite a splash on Instagram, because police departments are on Instagram now.

Commenters were quick to react against the ostentatious show of wealth. “This is a terrible look on so many levels,” read one comment. “Explain to em how this is going to help you recruit?” asked another. Another chose to punch down on a fellow East Coast city. “You know if this was in New York City, the NYPD would get their Rolls Royce stolen,” chimed in one larrikin.

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The post indicates the vehicle was donated by Miami dealership Braman Motors, with the organization covering all costs associated with the vehicle. That didn’t stop commenters from piling on, regardless.

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Speaking to the Miami Herald, the department indicated the vehicle is on loan. It will eventually be returned to Braman. That makes sense, as the dealership should have no problems removing the light bars and wrap to sell the Rolls Royce at a later date. The police department will only be on the hook to cover any damage to the vehicle that occurs during its loan period. The city has drafted an insurance certificate to cover the Rolls Royce while the department is using it as a recruitment tool.

In the West, auspicious displays of wealth are often tolerated when they’re the result of an individual’s own success. That remains true, even if that success is built off the back of those they exploited. Jeff Bezos’s rocket trip to nowhere is a great example. But when it comes to public servants, people tend to take a dim view. They’re expected to do their jobs for a fair wage, if that, with no extraneous waste on perks or luxuries.

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Not sure this is the image Rolls Royce wants to project, either.

Even if the Miami Beach Police Department didn’t pay for the Rolls Royce, it’s still a bad look to many. Seeing police cruising around in a car worth more than many people’s homes is a difficult pill to swallow. It’s even worse at a time when cost of living pressures are pushing many families against the wall.

As far as PR blunders go, this one is up there with Dukakis in the tank. If you’re working for the city council, and some dealership wants to give you a Lamborghini Aventador to use as a street sweeper, just say no and avoid the whole mess before it begins.

[Ed note: I feel like Lewin has just discovered this Dukakis-in-the-Tank thing and is now obsessed with it. It’s kinda funny. I don’t have the heart to tell him about Willie Horton or Lee Atwater. – MH]

Or, just follow this simple rule. If they’re doing it in Florida, you should do the opposite. You’re welcome.

Image credits: Miami Beach Police Department via Instagram

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Mechjaz
Mechjaz
14 days ago

Atlantic Ocean – friend. You’ve almost drowned me a couple times, which was honestly pretty fair; I was wrong to go out into you. The way you didn’t crash into the planes in which I flew over you was pretty great, too. I’m not sure I’ve given enough back to you, though I’ve always held dear the precious knowledge of the North Atlantic drift, which most people seem to forget about by ninth grade.

I’m gonna ask for something big, and I know it seems selfish at first but really it’s for the good of all of us, I promise. And hey, if you look at it a certain way, it’s really about you, about defending your image, your awe, your power. I’ll keep making sure that every six-pack ring has every hole snipped; I’ll suffer hideous sunburn to avoid poisoning your reefs with sunscreen runoff. I want you to be feared, to be revered, but most of all to be happy and also swallow Miami.

If you could please, please just sort of roll in with a 50 foot tide, and just park it there for a while, I – and I think I speak for all of us when I say we – would be super grateful. A few hours would help, but don’t let me tell you how to do your job; you want that land, it’s yours. Just gobble up that whole doggone peninsula if that’s what pleases you; we’ll even throw in some Georgia and Alabama, too, if you’re interested.

EricTheViking
EricTheViking
14 days ago

The police department in Highland Park, Texas (a very wealthy town inside Dallas) had leased a Mercedes-Benz 240 D (W123) for the police duty during the early 1980s. Why the department didn’t consider 280 E, which was much faster than 240 D by wide margin, is beyond me.

No word whether the police officers in Mercedes-Benz 240 D successfully intercepted the fleeing criminals.

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
14 days ago

I love the editorial comments about a few of the other stupid things Dukakis did. He didn’t lose 48 states because he looked like an idiot in a tank. He was a favorite among the zealots who didn’t see his flaws. As such he got trounced. I expect both candidates this year would experience this if any voters would investigate their candidates and vote the 3rd party candidates of their choice as a NONE OF THE ABOVE choice in Brewsters Millions. We won’t be free of candidates getting worse every election only bowing to the party if they don’t think voters will leave the party.

Jj
Jj
14 days ago

The city’s going to have a large damage bill when this thing gets lit on fire during spring break next year.

Jj
Jj
14 days ago

If I saw this in real life, I would assume it was a Chrysler 300. That’s what I thought when I saw the picture.

It is retro of the department to be openly recruiting potential drug dealers. As a gen-x’er I’m in favor of bringing the 80’s back.

http://miamibeach411.com/news/miami-river-cops

Steve P
Steve P
14 days ago

At least they could change the hood ornament.
https://i.ebayimg.com/images/g/uyoAAOSwU2tc7egi/s-l1200.webp

Crank Shaft
Crank Shaft
14 days ago

This is just sick. I think that since civil asset forfeiture really took off alongside with free military surplus hardware that police chiefs have developed a kind of anything goes attitude.

When was last time you saw a cruiser that didn’t look like it was fresh off the factory floor? The days of dilapidated Dodge Monacos are long gone. When the opiate settlement money really start flowing, things are really gonna get good.

Note that I do support police, but that I do not believe they are perfect and unimpeachable.

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
14 days ago
Reply to  Crank Shaft

In most of the country, see the deplorable area, the cars are at best 20 footers. Now in the NYC and Las Angeles area yeah waiting tax payer money to buy votes.

Mercedes Streeter
Mercedes Streeter
14 days ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

NYC and LA are weird. NYC has a fleet of literally hundreds of Smart Fortwos and LA apparently still has hundreds of Crown Vics in its fleet.

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
14 days ago

Yes and they feel they are sane and the rest of the country is idiots for not agreeing with them

Mercedes Streeter
Mercedes Streeter
14 days ago
Reply to  Crank Shaft

When was last time you saw a cruiser that didn’t look like it was fresh off the factory floor?

Some of the poorer towns near me are still driving sixth-generation Dodge Chargers and Chevy Impala PPVs from the late 2000s. I always end up doing a double-take because new Chargers and Exploders are so common.

Crank Shaft
Crank Shaft
14 days ago

Yeah, I know they’re still out there, but I don’t often see them and I do the same time machine head spin as you.

Hey Mercedes, I still want to know about the dual exhaust ENC buses I see on St. Mary’s every day. I’ve actually tried to get information but they all act like you’re planning a terrorist attack and clam up. It’s really kind of weird. Maybe you can get somewhere.

Joe The Drummer
Joe The Drummer
14 days ago

Oh, so even though it was donated by a dealership, it will “give the impression” that the city is wasting taxpayers’ money? Okay, let me make this really easy for everyone: if it is a government, it is wasting taxpayer money, whether it looks like they are or not. QED.

So relax, Miami Beach. Try getting pissed off about something your local government is actually doing wrong. I promise, you won’t have to look too far. But you do have to look past the absolutely free Rolls-Royce that was donated to the police department.

Last edited 14 days ago by Joe The Drummer
JC 06Z33
JC 06Z33
14 days ago

If Autopian allowed images… whynotboth.jpeg

Sure, the government is wasteful in most all areas if you look into things, and that’s bad. But one thing being bad doesn’t preclude other things from being bad.

Aside from the bad look this gives, it’s also just wasteful. This dealership could have sold the car and donated the proceeds to MBPD. That probably could have paid for several vehicles that are much better equipped for the task that this one Rolls will be asked to do. Or if you really wanted something to help with PR/recruiting, go get a few Mustang GTs or something less flagrantly gaudy.

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
14 days ago
Reply to  JC 06Z33

They didn’t donate it they lent it out. Any damage the tax payers pay for it. Then when done the dealer takes a tax donation and sells it. Any loss is a tax write off. I know the article wasn’t in depth but it clearly stated it was loaned and damages are on the city.

JC 06Z33
JC 06Z33
14 days ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

My bad, I was replying to the comment which said “absolutely free” and “donated” after skimming the article, assuming that the comment was accurate.

The fact that this is a loaner makes this infinitely worse. I now feel even more justified calling this out as a terrible move by the MBPD to accept a loaner like this.

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
14 days ago
Reply to  JC 06Z33

No problem I often make this mistake. And I get corrected.

Joe The Drummer
Joe The Drummer
14 days ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

Well, the point being, the city didn’t buy it, or even lease it. As for damages, I doubt it will be used on no-knock raids at a gun runner’s house or anything.

I guess my point is: of all the things that ought to be complained about, of all the things that a government ought to be shouted at about by angry constituents, they choose this? Are they sure there aren’t more pressing local matters to be debated?

At the same time, the public would be fully justified in complaining that it’s tacky. Because it is. It’s not a great idea, but certainly not the worst one to get all redress-of-grievances over. I’m confident Miami Beach has much bigger problems than police tackiness.

Last edited 14 days ago by Joe The Drummer
Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
14 days ago

Amen brother

PaysOutAllNight
PaysOutAllNight
14 days ago

But when it comes to public servants, people tend to take a dim view. They’re expected to do their jobs for a fair wage, if that, with no extraneous waste on perks or luxuries.

The underlined words are doing some SERIOUS heavy lifting. I’m surprised they’re not crushed.

Billionaires are given a pass, but public servants are expected to volunteer and draw their life support from thin air. Let word get out that they’re making a decent living and the right wing goes apoplectic.

(*if there’s a revolution, high-ranking public servants double-dipping into the public pension system need to share a fate with the billionaires.)
(**double-dipping is where a high-ranking public servant retires at full pension, typically many years early, then takes a nearly identical job nearby at full salary and seniority for the rest of their career, both earning a new, higher salary and further boosting their pension benefits that they’re also collecting.)

JumboG
JumboG
14 days ago

My grandfather, a band director in Miami, retired 3 times, and got a huge pension. They stopped letting people do that shortly thereafter.

PaysOutAllNight
PaysOutAllNight
14 days ago
Reply to  JumboG

I know of at least three double-dippers in the local government near me.

The most egregious is taking over $200,000 per year combined, to do a job that was last posted a with a starting salary of about $80,000 per year. They “retired” from a higher paying job, applied for pension, and the next day they started the $80k salary job. But because of their seniority in public service, the $80,000 job pays them more than $120,000, in addition to their generous pension.

I’m all for generous pensions for public servants. Giving up private sector earnings can be a huge sacrifice, and has to include at least some advantages. But double-dipping needs to be exposed as widely as possible and eliminated as soon as possible.

JaredTheGeek
JaredTheGeek
14 days ago

No, you don’t, not from the same pension system. That’s not how any of them function.

PaysOutAllNight
PaysOutAllNight
14 days ago
Reply to  JaredTheGeek

Yes, from the same pension system. In this case, Ohio PERS. But many others function the same way.

Your comment proves how hidden in obscurity this is, and how much more exposure it needs.

JaredTheGeek
JaredTheGeek
13 days ago

Many others do not operate that way. I worked for a major public employees’ retirement system.

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
14 days ago
Reply to  JaredTheGeek

If you aren’t retired you shouldn’t get the retirement payments until you are.

JaredTheGeek
JaredTheGeek
13 days ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

That’s how it works when you retire from one pension system. You can work in another field or for the private sector when you retire from a public employee’s pension system.

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
13 days ago
Reply to  JaredTheGeek

Yes that is because the people agreeing to it are on the same plan and it’s financed taxpayers. Which is a conflict of interest.

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
14 days ago

If only you did research. All politicians get retirement from a different fund than social security. Theirs is guaranteed while social security isn’t. They don’t need to pay into it and tax payers are forced to cover it. I love how idiots think one party or another is dirty but the other isn’t. Just too many stupid people to fix the system.

PaysOutAllNight
PaysOutAllNight
14 days ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

Clueless post. Politicians aren’t the only public servants, and I wasn’t even talking about them.

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
14 days ago

Okay how about a majority of our public servants being union members and protecting themselves above serving the public? I didn’t want to go there but I am not clueless the employees of the government are clearly serving their own interests as unions do. But remember you raised this issue.

Spikersaurusrex
Spikersaurusrex
14 days ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

Public retirement plans are mostly for rank and file public employees. Elected politicians are in there too, but they are a tiny part of it. Also, while there are still some very generous defined benefit pensions out there, they have been disappearing since the ’80s. For example, in the mid ’80s, the federal system changed from a defined benefit pension in lieu of social security that would replace up to about 80% of salary to a three pronged system that includes social security, a defined contribution plan (akin to a 401K) and a much smaller defined benefit plan. While the old system was very expensive and put the burden on the government, the new system shifted about 60% of the burden to the employee.

Also, all politicians are dirty. It’s one of the reasons I don’t affiliate myself with any party.

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
14 days ago

We’ll do to your final statement I say Welcome brother. But sorry check the federal retirement for senators and Congressmen. They get pensions even if they are proven corrupt. Even if they only do 4 years they get a good pension. Any raise is passed on to newly elected officials. It is a scam.

Spikersaurusrex
Spikersaurusrex
14 days ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

Yeah, but as I said elected politicians are a tiny part of “Public Pensions”. Note that the elected politicians protected their pensions and benefits while shifting the burden of public employee retirement to the employees.

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
14 days ago

I am sorry anyone making the same amount in retirement as 3 employees working is deserved to be arrested and thrown in prison and pay for the cost. I worked in the private sector the owner of the company during budgeting used to visit every company site . While the other officers used to look at big money the owner looked at $50 a month. I once asked him why. He said if I save $50 a month in each department at each newspaper I own it is over $1 million dollars. Too many people don’t look at it right.

Spikersaurusrex
Spikersaurusrex
14 days ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

Yeah, I mean, we could discuss that, but I was only trying to inform you that not all public pensions are guaranteed extremely generous defined benefit plans that replace social security. Some are, but many are not.

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
14 days ago

Okay this isn’t the place to discuss it. And I know that not all public pensions are guaranteed but the union greed has actually destroyed government pensions. However, these pensions get a higher bailout than private sector pension bailouts.

Mike B
Mike B
14 days ago

I agree with the above comments, it doesn’t matter if it was “free”, the optics are terrible. Also, how exactly is this going to recruit anyone?

Maybe I’m biased, I see a few of these monstrosities around my town in RI, and I absolutely hate them and the DB’s who buy them.

Mike Harrell
Mike Harrell
15 days ago

“If they’re doing it in Florida, you should do the opposite.”

At the opposite corner of the conterminous US:

https://hagerty-media-prod.imgix.net/2021/01/Hagerty-LeCar-Police.jpg

Vic Vinegar
Vic Vinegar
15 days ago

My local PD just has an Explorer police car thing with a “recruiting” livery on it that sits out in front of their station all day. Guess they won’t be able to compete with Miami.

TDI in PNW
TDI in PNW
15 days ago

I’m not really a fan of cops, but let them roll in the free Rolls. Maybe riding around in opulent luxury, they’ll be in better moods while interacting with the citizens. If I got pulled over by this car, I’d want to talk to the cop about their incredible car.

Last edited 15 days ago by TDI in PNW
Kaiserserserser
Kaiserserserser
15 days ago

It’s funny how the location and brand change how the story is perceived so wildly.

In Italy, Lambo regularly contributes vehicles to the police as a mix of publicity stunt and a tiny bit of function (EX: They donated a Urus to help with things like organ transport where time is of the essence so a sporty car helps). I don’t think I’ve seen a single article or comment that’s even vaguely critical of the situation.

But do basically the exact same thing but make it a Rolls in Florida and everyone loses their minds?

Collegiate Autodidact
Collegiate Autodidact
15 days ago

Part of it is due to pride of nationality, that is, Italian police departments use Italian Lamborghinis, German police departments use German Porsches, British police departments use British Range Rovers, etc, etc, but in this case this is a case of a U.S. police department using a *foreign* product. One wonders what the reactions would be like if Miami had used a Cadillac…

Aaron
Aaron
14 days ago

A lot of the examples you mention are sports cars that cost quite a bit less than a Rolls (still costly, though). Police have a long history of using said performance vehicles in “pursuit” roles, so there’s a thin justification. A Rolls, however, is conspicuous consumption. It’s defining characteristic is that it’s hyper expensive luxury.

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