tampabay.com

Dateline Florida

By TIMES WIRES
Published March 29, 2007


THEY'RE NOT COPS, BUT THEY PLAY THEM IN MIAMI-DADE

A seven-month investigation into police impersonators and police car burglaries across Miami-Dade County has yielded more than 50 arrests and documented troubling crimes, the Miami Herald reports. Since July 21, 2006, 77 police cars and the cops' homes have been burglarized. Fake officers may have assumed the identities of real ones by using their department ID numbers, pulled over motorists and even dispatched fake orders to real officers to divert them from actual crime scenes. Twenty-five assault rifles and other guns, eight bulletproof vests, 16 police-programmed radios, badges, ID cards, police lights and other gear were seized. Police worry much more equipment has ended up in the hands of criminals.

Look now - you won't see this sign again

City of Tampa signmakers rarely make mistakes, says public works director Irv Lee. So it was especially embarrassing when signs installed two blocks from City Hall misspelled the street name, Kennedy Boulevard. City workers installed the sign, spelled "Kenndey," on Tuesday night at Kennedy and Ashley Drive. The intersection is so busy during the day that city officials had to wait until Wednesday night to replace it. "We thought it would be best to live with the embarrassment for a few hours rather than inconveniencing the public," Lee said of the typo. "We think it is a lesson learned."

Like being back at the Brickyard

As a child, St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Baker could hear the rumble of the IndyCar engines from his boyhood home in Indianapolis. Sunday, he'll get the chance to say the magic words that make the cars roar: "Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines." Baker will give the customary command ahead of Sunday's Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. It was an honor Baker was quick to accept. "I think I can die a happy man now," he said.