After Cops Cross “Thin Blue Line,” City Shuts Down Entire Corrupt Police Department

October 3, 2014   |   Carey Wedler

Carey Wedler
October 3, 2014

(TheAntiMedia) WALDO, FL- The city council of Waldo, Florida voted 4-1 this week to disband its corrupt police department. While police in Waldo have been recognized for mistreatment of civilians, the department came under fire over illegal ticket quotas, deceptive court appearances, and unethical storage techniques. Waldo, a town of 1,000 residents and one stop light, was home to one of the most notorious speed traps in the country until aggravated cops reported their superiors.

Original story: Florida Cops Blow the Whistle on Traffic Ticket Quotas, Police Chief gets Fired

The city’s seven police officers wrote nearly 12,000 speeding tickets in 2013, earning $400,000 and making up a third of the town’s revenue. These actions were in violation of state law as the police chief ordered officers to write 12 tickets per 12 hour shift or face repercussions.

Resident Pat Burgess told CBS last month:

“They’re just waiting to catch people because they have to write so many tickets in order to meet the budget, and that’s wrong.”

In August, five Waldo officers rebelled against their superiors and made a presentation to the city council about the malpractices. Followed by their testimony,  then-chief Mike Szabo was suspended (with pay) pending a Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigation. Corporal Kenneth Smith was later suspended by Waldo City Manager Kim Worley when a second investigation was launched.

Before the conclusions of these reports, both suspended officers resigned. In early September, Worley arranged a temporary contract with the Alachua County sheriff to employ a lieutenant, but when that month-long deal expired, Worley was left with few choices.

An audit of the department found it needed to upgrade its computer systems and storage facilities to be up to standards for criminal investigation, which the city was too underfunded to do. After State Attorney Bill Cervone advised that he would bring a case before the Alachua Grand Jury that would be “humiliating,” the city council voted to disband the notoriously corrupt police department.

City Councilwoman Carolyn Wade, who voted reluctantly to shut down the force, said:

“Too much has gone too far and I don’t think we can recover.”

It remains to be seen what will happen in Waldo, but for now, the Alachua County Sheriff’s office will provide law enforcement services.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement and State Attorney Cervone are still investigating and pursuing the criminal cops who extorted drivers in Waldo.

Though some residents are upset with the decision, Brandon Roberts, leader of the cops who spoke out, expressed no remorseeven considering he had lost his job. He said:

“It’s what was right. A lot of people complain about cops not stepping across the blue line, and this is a prime example, because you have to worry about this kind of stuff.”

He continued:

“If I took down two bad ones, it was worth it.”

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Author: Carey Wedler

Carey Wedler joined Anti-Media as an independent journalist in September of 2014. Her topics of interest include the police and warfare states, the Drug War, the relevance of history to current problems and solutions, and positive developments that drive humanity forward. She currently resides in Los Angeles, California, where she was born and raised.

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75 Comments

  1. wow a cop with morals? I would have never thought

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  2. Great to see a good cop or three still exist. The residents should be grateful that they stuck their necks out to stop the corruption which will save residents lots of money

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  3. I'm pretty sure it wasn't morality that drove them to come forward…more like laziness because of the obscene ticket quotas… Lol

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  4. The 3 good cops should be put on the new force with their leader as the chief. It would be the best police department in the country, and they could set an example for the rest. I know there is more cops like these guys, its hard to believe right now I know but if you need proof come visit Derry NH and you will see. Derry pd has a bunch of really good guys on the police department. That is based on my and my friends and family's experience

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  5. I would file suit against that city for any ticket I ever received.

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  6. I imagine there's a massive class action suit being drawn up as we speak.

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    • Hello I am just testing it

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  7. I was slowing down as I passed the 45 mph sign going into waldo from Starke. I was doing 3 over as I passed the sign. I got pulled over for going 13 above the speed limit. I was so pissed off! What could I do though? That was 5 years ago!

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    • Visiting relatives? Are you sure that wasn’t “5 to 10″ yeas ago? :)

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  8. Right?!? I'm glad these officers did the right thing. Now if we could only get the rest of the few good ones left to do the same thing.

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  9. Seems to me that the majority of the officers were honest, (5 outta 7). So the department was actually shut down for lack of monies for upgrading departmental systems. I would think they would have made one of the officers acting chief temp. They had been using those same systems for years already.

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  10. This has been going on for decades, I grew up in Florida, everyone across the northeast of the state knew about this, its amazing it went on for decades.

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  11. he better move out of that county, fast…kudos to him at any rate

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  12. hopefully a police force picks him up!

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  13. I don't agree with punishing police that cole forward against their superiors. If anything it shows these are good cops in the end and only discourages other cops from doing the same as thse examples of ethical officers.

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  14. Funny how all races agree that cops are no good-until they kill a minority and the protesting starts- All of a sudden there's a huge racial divide. Interesting………

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  15. Knowin' some vengeful ppl, they'll probably just kill said good cops 2 make an example of those who DO cross dat blue line!

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  16. My only question is where's waldo?

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  17. Just awesome!

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  18. They need to go do this to idaho

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  19. Allowing corrupt officials to resign is criminal. They where fired for criminal reasons and by allowing them to resign we the tax payers will pay their pensions for the rest of their crooked pathetic lives.. NO PENSIONS should be allowed. In class action that should be part of the deal.

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  20. I agree they did act like good officers and stand up for what's right in this instance, but let's not rush to judgement and assume they are 100% angels. They are still human, just cuz they did the right thing here doesn't mean they didn't also love the power trip when they were cops, or enjoy beating the crap out of criminals who they felt deserved it.

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  21. Wooo! Cannot commend these men any higher!

    Also hope this cop gets put on another force, cause he clearly needs to be a cop!

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  22. Samuel Coston Schenheit It is doubtful he will ever be in law enforcement ever again. What police department would hire someone who has shown a willingness to out the corruption? NO, he'll have to do private security or work at WalMart or something.

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  23. I am not buying it. There is a restructuring for more money ring? It just doesnt wash with me. Sorry..i would NEVER believe these life wrecking slime.somehow…maybe a police child

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  24. It isn't enough that the police department be disbanded. The police department wasn't acting in a vacuum; the City Council MUST have known how the police department was raising money, especially since it made such a huge part of the city's revenue. There needs to be a true housecleaning, which means getting rid of the entire City Council as well.

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  25. Unfortunately the dude suspended with pay with be able to take a tax payer funded vaca then go right back to doin what he was doin…. There will be no justice

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  26. can we start a fund for these cops? i hate cops but this this is what a cop is suppose to do.

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  27. Samuel Coston Schenheit Maybe Waldo should restart the police force with the ones that crossed. Give them a raise.

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  28. Brian Miller They still sat on the side of the highway writing tickets for how long? They might have chosen to do the right thing in the end, which I respect them for, but how long did they continue doing the wrong before that? Idk how big Waldo is, but odds are it's probably small that it doesn't need it's own police force. The residents should be happy for the tax dollars they're saving and getting the police state off their front lawn.

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  29. Not Cop Block approved.

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  30. all police departments are like this!! I AM GLAD THE OFFICERS DID THE RIGHT THING!! We need more to turn in there superiors!

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  31. That would be Mr. Al Sharpton's fault. He has to turn everything in to a discrimination case. Question is why is he so defensive? It's always like he has something to prove. Notice how the majority of races get a long today, and yet he still wants to make us all fight. He is an instigator. It's disgusting.

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  32. Ritzville WA… they pull everyone over going to the Gorge for shows, say they have an aircraft print out, refuse to show it to you, and write rhe ticket. You can't fight the ticket if you're from out of town….
    Fix it now.

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  33. Ok, so shoot an unarmed man in the back and get paid vacation, but miss your 12 ticket quota and face "serious repercussions"???? Haha!!! WTF!

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  34. That handful of officers wrote 12,000 speeding tickets a year, possibly for decades according to comments from Floridians. And with all the revenue, they didn't have the money to upkeep their systems. It seems there's plenty of blame for illegal ticketing and fraud/theft to go around.

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  35. And this is why cops don't often cross the thin blue line. Blow the whistle and you end up out of work. The entire system is screwed up.

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  36. Chris Mccullar True. And that's why Al Sharpton is NOT the peoples choice. He is a double agent paid to pacify when needed, and when in his best interest, he instigates to bring attention to individual cases he represents, or wants to be choosen to represent. Money. However, I still don't view this divide as being solely on him. I believe that most people do agree yet, don't support. Supporting requires an action that may have adverse social consequences that people are swayed by. In essence, nobody stands for what they believe in anymore because they can't sacrifice…..

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  37. its right by where i live (JAX) the only real reason to go there is for the flea market or to pass by to go to other destinations. I have been told my whole driving life that starke and waldo are spped traps. i wonder whats gong to happen to starke if anything???

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  38. oh yea and if your using it in reference to the childrens book i guess i wasted my time, and you wasted yours too posting that

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  39. This was well known as a speed trap in the 1960s. I wonder how many millions of illegal fines have been paid into this tiny town? BTW, two local towns here in SC have recently replaced the 45mph speed limit signs (between the 35 and the 55) with new 35mph signs. Now we have 55mph, and then two 35mph. I didn't notice the change and it cost me $135. It is true that today's police department is primarily for revenue generation so the damned liberals can waste more of our money.

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  40. Waldo is town of 1000 people. I had more people in my high school than that and I knew about 1/4 of them within 2 years. In places like this everybody knows every body and it was only a matter of time before these cops were being told to screw over people they knew. I dont see something like this being likely to happen in larger cities.

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  41. Reg Allaby Yeah cause no job and never being hired again as a cop was exactly what he wanted. People can never be satisfied.

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  42. Keenan David to*

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  43. Finally!

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  44. Wait a minute here. So this town council is trying to say they were too stupid and incompetent to realize that when 30% of their revenue comes from speeding tickets, something wasn't right ? Bullshit. A lot of cops are ego-maniacal thugs on a power trip, but i'm not buying for one second, that the police chief decided on his own to generate all this revenue, especially when it obviously was not going to the police department as pointed out by the line about the computers not being up to standard for criminal investigation. I think they need to disband and have a criminal investigation of the town council as well.

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  45. I was a victim of this police officers in February 2014, and still affecting my insurance policy. Is the city going to return the illegal thickets? Is the city going to tell to the insurance companies to erase the records?

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  46. Where were their morals when they were writing the tickets?

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  47. shit was probably the mayor as well telling them to do it

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  48. Cops with a quota?! Noooo!

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  49. Now I want my money back for giving me a ticket while driving through there. The officer (former officer) was rude and when I asked if I could see the radar, he blatantly told me "NO". I asked him why and his response was, "I don't have to"…OH YEAH, I'M GLAD THEY SHUT THEM DOWN! I was NOT speeding…I always drive through there and when there is traffic, it is really difficult to speed knowing that you're hitting traffic lights everywhere. Them getting shut down is great, but a speeding ticket that cost me $300???? I don't think so.

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  50. Waldo City Counsel, Waldo police and Alachua County together extended the city limits of Waldo just for the purpose of generating traffic stops. This entire operation was orchestrated and carried out by city and county officials decades ago. FDLE has known for just as long that their operation was illegal and ignored the situation. There should be people sent to jail for this, not allowed to resign and go unpunished.

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  51. Lol just went over his head for a sec

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  52. Kudos to Mr. Roberts and the others who had the Nads to stand up and do what's right.

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  53. Noah, that's because all the psycho cops are in Nashua.

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  54. lol im just saying the whole wheres waldo thing as a joke isnt really funny… the funny part is it is in the middle of really nowhere so i was just answering your question????? idk i party i think too much

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  55. The town should contract police service to the Sheriffs Dept. There is no reason a small town like Waldo needs its own police force.

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  56. I gotta ticket in waldo …in 2013…right beside the sign sayn how fast I was drivin…an was going the speed limit. ..but I was outa state an to hard fight

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  57. Haha! Now there are some hero cops!! Brandon Roberts, and the other four officers who spoke out against the corruption, you have forever earned my respect!!

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  1. City Of Waldo Florida Disbands Entire Police Department | YouViewed/Editorial - […] After Cops Cross “Thin Blue Line,” City Shuts Down Entire Corrupt Police Department […]
  2. After Cops Cross “Thin Blue Line,” City Shuts Down Entire Corrupt Police Department - - […] Carey Wedler | TheAntiMedia […]
  3. Weekend Open Thread: Waldo, Betty, and Ludwig | Orange Juice Blog - […] able to present the following story from Cary Wedler of the AntiMedia.org to you in full thanks to their Creative …

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