Plantation Police Union Endorses Bendekovic, Others


The Plantation police union has endorsed Diane Veltri Bendekovic for mayor and three others for commission seats in the hotly-contested March 8 election.

The union– officially labeled the Fraternal Order of Police, Plantation Lodge #42– is backing:

  • Mayor Diane Veltri Bendekovic
  • City Council Group 1 Lynn Stoner
  • City Council Group 2 Sharon Uria
  • City Council Group 3 Ron Jacobs

In a news release, FOP President Joseph J. Mercogliano stated, “These endorsed candidates have the best interest of Plantation’s future, residents, businesses and its employees…

Cops Say She Would Make Best Plantation Mayor

My advise to the police.  For voters to take your endorsements seriously,  you need to turn Plantation from the speed trap of Broward into a more friendly community.

Today I saw three motorcycle officers  hiding in the entrance to a community nabbing driver after driver along Sunrise Boulevard.  I know it produces revenue, but wouldn’t these officers be better used patrolling neighborhoods.

After all, Plantation has a lot of crime.

I don’t blame the union or officers  for this.  Officers just do what they are told to do.

But their union endorsement would have more clout if  Plantation was not viewed as the Waldo* of South Florida.

(*Waldo is a community just west of  Gainesville so notorious as a speed trap that there are  billboards warning drivers of their unfair treatment. The speed limit is lowered at least 30 mph.  in a very short distance.  It is one of only two places designated at a speed trap by the American Automobile Association.)

33 Responses to “Plantation Police Union Endorses Bendekovic, Others”

  1. Bill Bzdek says:

    This would also look like a Buddy endorsement.Nice picture ,soft article , where are the pictures of the other candidates ?

  2. Reality says:

    I don’t think the speed limits are any different in Plantation than anywhere else, they just enforce them. The place you wrote about is a state road and the speed limit is set by the state. Why not just obey it rather than whining about it Buddy?

  3. Joseph J. Mercogliano says:

    Good Morning Buddy,
    In regards to your article, I am sorry that you feel that the Plantation Police Motorcycle Officers are only out there to gain revenue for the city. The utmost reason they are out there is to ensure the safety of the motoring public. I can assure, they are not out there as a #’s game or revenue generator. They are doing a necessary and extremely dangerous job. Just last year, 5 Motorcycle Officers were killed in the line of duty nationwide capping a record setting year where 163 officers were killed in the line of duty.
    There are 178 dedicated men and women who go out everyday to serve and protect Plantation. They serve in many capacities from Patrol Officer to Undercover Officers. Everyone of them has a very specific and vital role to the success of Plantation.
    The FOP feels that our endorsement along with the endorsement that was issued by the Florida State Lodge of the Fraternal Order of Police for these candidates has plenty of “clout” as you put it. Our endorsment is a testament to our commitment and passion for the best for the city that we patrol, protect and in alot of cases live in.

    FROM BUDDY: Thanks, as always, for your participation and for your explanation.

  4. ExCompassionate Conservative says:


    I do not live in Plantaton, but I usually have no problem with the police enforcing the speed limits as I get older. Many criminals are caught in their cars as they disregard speed zones and safety the same way they laugh at warrants for their previous arrests and tickets.

    Towns may have a few different speed limits based on the design of the road and if it is a high traffic area for joggers, bicylcists and parks. There may have been several complaints logged in with the town over speeders in certain communities and the sherrif’s office where I live does respond with radar.

    The residents in that community may have been fed up with seeing speeders and bad driving as they walkes their dogs or strolled in the morning or evening. Plenty of Broward kids get cars after just receiving their driver’s license and feel immune to both traffic laws and the laws of physics.

    I have to laugh over this becuase th eother day I was one of the few people who listen to Brian Craig in the Steve Kane show at the crazy end of the dial. Brian, who always seems to have a problem when minorities complain about the police was on a rampage over his being caught speeding in my beloved town of Parkland. Instead of the town with a lot of IND voters who voted for West instead of Klein, we are now a bastion of liberalism gone wild with stuck up people who sick the cops on innocent Crusaders like Brian when they ignore posted speed limits and endanger our citizens

    Just pay your ticket Brian so my millage stays low or pay a Godless lawyer to represent you and your rights.

  5. Bruce Edwards says:

    I agree with with Joe in his response to your article. My son is one of the 178 that serves the city. He is also a S.W.A.T. team member and enjoys his work very much. He and his wife have two little girls and like most of his fellow officers take risk for us. When I go to sleep at night I think of him being safe, not will I get ticketed for speeding. He works the all night shift. Thanks to Joe and all the men and women who provide public safety for Plantation. I know Buddy that you feel the same even though you point out the speed enforcement issue.

    FROM BUDDY: I’m not for ignoring traffic laws. I’m for trying to do as much as possible with the officers we have. I just believe it is misplaced priorities to have three motorcycle officers pulling over cars on Sunrise Boulevard at 10 a.m. when one or two of these officers could be patrolling neighborhoods.

  6. So Nixionian says:

    The City could save money by re assigning the Motorcycle cops to less hazardous duty and install more red light cameras. Speeders go through red lights.Redlights do not burn gas, do not rely on radar/laser guns that may emit harmful radiation to the users so less likely chance of future medical claims.The lights,like some officers are indiscriminate and mechanical(perish the thought) in handing out the $153.00 “trickets” so the revenue stream continues at greater profitabilty for the City. Why? the cameras are a lower overhead factor, can operate 24/7, no health insurance, court appearence or pension costs like those incurred by the motorcycle officers, when they hand out the tickets to a grateful public.

  7. Conservatively Liberal says:


    As a resident of West Plantation for 30+ years, I too see the M/C officers on Sunrise Blvd. (as well as other favorite watering holes throughout town) on a regular basis. You see them on West Sunrise Blvd. b/c you live in that community. M/C officers investigate serious motor vehicle accidents, and when there are no accidents, they enforce traffic laws. That’s what they do. The Plantation M/C officers only make up approximately three percent of the entire Plantation P.D.

    In my line of work, I’ve met 100’s of Broward law enforcement officers, most of which are assigned to the traffic division or are FHP troopers. They serve an important role in law enforecement. I can tell you without hesitation that the Plantation motormen (no females in that division at this time) are extremely professional, respectful and diligent. They also show compassion when it is warranted.

    Wild shot in the dark: Buddy, did one of them stop you recently and issue you a citation?


    – Slow down, you won’t get a ticket.

    – Wear your seat belt: “click it or ticket.” It saves lives.

    – Stop texting while driving. A major problem on the roads today causing many accidents and serious injuries.

    Lastly, here’s something you might consider writing about to inform your readers to help save the lives of Law Enforcement Officers on road side stops as well as other emgergency workers helping distressed motorists and accident victims: The mandatory move over law, Florida Statute Section 316.126(b) which provides in part:

    If you are driving on an interstate or roadway with multiple lanes of travel in the same direction, and you approach an emergency or law enforcement vehicle parked along the roadway, you must vacate the lane closest to that vehicle as soon as it is safe to do so. If you are not able to safely move over, you must slow down to a speed of 20 MPH below the posted speed limit unless directed otherwise by a law enforcement officer.

    On a two-lane roadway, you are required to slow to a speed that is 20 miles per hour less than the posted speed limit.

    If the speed limit is 20 miles per hour or less, you must slow down to five miles per hour.

    The Move Over Law is on the books almost ten years; however, you would be surprised how few people know the law and/or understand the law. It is a law that if obeyed helps to save the lives and limbs of troopers, other law enforcement officers, road rangers, drivers of wreckers and ambulance workers. This law is intended to create a small safety zone b/t the area of the stop and the lane within you are driving. It is so dangerous for the worker that is on a shoulder of a highway when a driver drives by at highway speeds just a few inches from the worker and the stopped vehicle. Often, this is how officers or other emergency workers are killed or seriously injured during a road side stop.

    I’ve taken surveys of friends, family members and clients and it’s amazing how few people are aware of this important law. Just watch the next time you see a road side stop with an officer with their emergency lights activated and how the overwhelming majority of citizens drive right by them without moving over, or if unable to do so, lowering their speed by 20 MPH.

    Buddy, don’t hate, appreciate. Don’t hate, educate.


    A Plantation / Broward Citizen that appreciates all Law Enforcement Officers including but not limited to the traffic “guys”


    Thanks for your comments.

    It is amazing folks don’t know about the move over law, because there are signs all over Florida’s Turnpike and have been numerous stories on TV and in print about it.

    Just remember that my criticism and suggestions are not hate. I don’t know where you got that.

    No, I have never received a traffic ticket from a Plantation officer.

  8. Another resident says:

    Cracking down on the amount of break-ins and car thefts just wastes manpower and doesn’t bring in the revenue that speedtraps do. Simple economics and priorities.

    ….and before we get the FOP President to chime in; you know it’s true. You can try and keep the media from reporting the incidents, but everyone knows someone(s) that has been a victim of theft. It is rampant around here, don’t act like we are stupid.

  9. Throwback says:

    She looks a lot like her dad. If the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree Plantation will have a reliable leader.

  10. Connie Freund says:

    Hello Buddy,
    Any drivers being “nabbed” were speeding. Why have sympathy for persons who decide the posted speed limit does not apply to them? It’s not about revenue for the City, its about safety on our streets. When I am talking to voters, their big issues are property values, the budget, crime and speeders in their neighborhood.
    When officers issue tickets its a reminder to the person who got the ticket and everyone else to slow down and drive responsibly because you have a family who wants you alive.
    Every time an officer stops a driver there is risk to his/her life. They are committed to protecting all of us, including the speeding driver. Officers hold the line between an orderly society and chaos. Anyone who would put themselves in that perilous position daily for the safety of the rest of us deserves our highest respect as they perform their duties.

  11. Connie Freund says:

    Regarding the number of officers on the speeding drivers assignment on Sunrise Blvd, that decision is made per each assignment. Sometimes, you see one or two officers or one further down the street. Traffic conditions and other factors are part of that decision.

  12. Senator John Blutarsky says:

    wow – not the responses I expected…By the way, how many of the 178 Plantation Police Officer Union Members live in Plantation? How many pay taxes to Plantation and are affected by the millage increases required to fund their raises? Just wondering…

  13. Police Deaths over stated says:

    I am not saying the job of a Police Officer isn’t dangerous, especially after the recent events down her but to say these men all died in the line of duty puts them in the same catagory as Postmen who have died from accidents, heart attacks and the like. Total Line of Duty Deaths: 162
    Accidental: 1
    Aircraft accident: 2
    Assault: 5
    Automobile accident: 43
    …Boating accident: 1
    Drowned: 2
    Fall: 2
    Gunfire: 59
    Gunfire (Accidental): 2
    Heart attack: 14
    Motorcycle accident: 5
    Struck by train: 1
    Struck by vehicle: 7
    Training accident: 1
    Vehicle pursuit: 4
    Vehicular assault: 13
    See More

    FROM BUDDY: These stats are over what period of time and for what area? After all, four officers were killed in Florida in January alone.

  14. S only says:

    If you are not SPEEDING, you will not get a ticket Buddy. If you ARE speeding, you might get one. I have no problem with automatic red light monitors or M/C cops giving tickets. 3 on one street though is a bit much.

  15. Bill Bzdek says:

    Hey Throwback, that apple fell so far from the tree its a grapefruit.

    or a lemon!!

  16. To Buddy says:

    Buddy just google the number of officer deaths for 2010. You will see the stats there. Hardly the deaths that officers like to portray when they say died in the line of duty. Heart attacks? Maybe if they stayed in shape after getting hired the numbers for many of these catagories would be down significantly.

  17. mustbecrazy says:

    Well I have said numerous times, Diane is not the one for me. I am wondering though what was the basis for the Police endorsement? When they sat down and looked at the candidates, what was the one item that caused them to say Diane is the one. Did they speak to each candidate individually, collectively or not at all? Did they look at platform, voting record? What is it exactly that prompted them to endorse her. I need to know. Is there something that they see that I do not? Again what is it? I look forward to hearing and answer.

  18. mustbecrazy says:

    Now with regards to the motorcycle cops hiding. I have always found that to be subvertive behavior, sneaky. It has always bothered me. Why would one have to hide to do their job? With regards to speeders, you get what you deserve, a big fat ticket.

  19. To mustbecrazy says:


  20. Bill Bzdek says:

    to must be crazy:

    Here is how it works :I ran for city council office in 2001, as a former police officer , federal corrections officer and agressive Chief Shop Steward AFL CIO( locked up by Mayor Barry Sept 1980 Wild cat Strike Washington DC) and member of VA FOP,I thought maybe I would get this endorsement.
    A political action committe does an interview and then recommends to the members who they think is the best candidate.

    I did not get it , and the former president of the FOP, told me that they will pick the candidate that has the best chance to win and protect their interests . They knew I would protect their interests ( bled blue) but had minimal chance of winning !

    In 2001 that was Diane Bendekovic in a field of five.

    Their track record is actually very good and I do not hold that against them .

    But that my friend is how it works.

    Also her husband was a captain and son in law of Mayor Veltri. That can’t hurt.

  21. Plantation Resident says:


    The candidates are invited to sit down for an interview, same with most newspaper endorsements where they typically sit down with the editorial board.
    Everyone is entitled to their personal reasons for voting/not voting for a candidate. What I would say to you, however, is don’t listen to others who think they know her and how she will govern. SIt down with the lady and talk to her or go to a candidate forum and make your decision. You may be surprised.

    So far the two main candidates for Mayor have kept it about the issues which is good for the voters,no ugliness to cloud the air.
    I hope it stays that way until Mar 8.

  22. Bill Bzdek says:

    sadly , 10,000 of at least 50,000 eligible voters !

    I hope someone drops a big one and gets the voters motivated.

    Both Jerry and Diane count on the historic 10,000.

    Its a fact . Its why we have March Elections vs Nov . at a cost of over $100,000 for March .

    Ask them that ? Plantation Resident !

  23. Joseph J. Mercogliano says:

    Good Morning mustbecrazy,
    Our endorsement process is as follows. All the candidates were invited to participate and it was a voluntary process. All the candidates were sent a questionnaire which they responded to on a various array of topics related to the city, budget, pensions and benefits. Once we received the questionnaire, the Political Action Committee(PAC) of the FOP(3 members who were elected by the membership and I by virtue of my office)scheduled face to face interviews with the candidates. After those were completed, the PAC presented our recommendations for endorsments to our Lodge in a special meeting.
    The Lodge then conducted a vote of the membership for whom they would like to endorse. Each member of the lodge then cast a secret ballot in a vote. It is truly up to the individual member who they wanted to endorse.
    In repsonse to why we endorse any one particular candidate, we look at several factors to include: Their voting record if an incumbent, the candidates past political and buisness expierence, their agenda if they are elected and their knowledge of the Police Dept and Contract and their plans to get elected.
    I hope this information helps.

  24. mustbecrazy says:

    To Joseph,
    Thank you for taking the time to respond to my queries.

    I am still uncomfortable with her, there is something behind her eyes that bothers me. She seems, in my observations, to have disdain for the general public that she is supposed to be serving. I am equally uncomfortable with Jerry, he seems to have no backbone or to be focused on the best interests of the city and its citizens. This pension thing has really got me irked. And Warren, well he seems to have some good ideas but can’t seem to see beyond his blinders long enough to get out of his own way. So here I am again, wondering what do I do now? How do I vote? This is truly one of the most important elections, for Plantation, that I can recall in some time. It will define the direction of Plantation for years to come. Who do we want to lead us there? Write in candidate anyone?

  25. Connie Freund says:

    Hello Bill Bzdek,
    You are so right about March Elections! With your background and experience as AFL CIO Shop Steward and other positions you have held, you are aware that holding elections separately is self serving. These stand alone elections need to end. In 2007, the election cost $50,000. In 2009 our Municipal election cost $100,000. Here we are two years later, this 2011 election is costing us $180,000. The cost goes up significantly every two years If this election was held last November with the General Election, the cost would have been $15,000. That’s a $165,000 savings! Fifteen other Broward County cities combined their elections with the General last November. As a candidate for City Council, I want to push for processes to reform such wasteful spending. You have a choice in this election with the power of your vote. Progress or “more of the same”.


    Actually, there are two sides to the argument about March versus November elections.

    November city elections have been dubbed the Incumbent’s Protection Act. The reason is that November voters are largely concerned with national and state issues, thus pay little or no attention to city races. Voters who are not informed most likely vote for the candidates’ with higher name ID in non-partisan races—usually the incumbents.

    To save money, the city’s would have to coordinate with either the presidential or statewide general elections. So cities with 3-year terms of office, like Fort Lauderdale, would require a charter change.

    Political experts will tell you that the added voters in a November general election are not the most informed voters. The most motivated and informed voters turn out in March. Many of those who only vote in November are less likely to know city issues or care about them.

    Also, because more voters are voting, it would cost candidates more to reach them. So they would have to raise more money, giving incumbents another advantage.

    So that’s the other side of the story.

  26. mustbecrazy says:

    To Bill Bzdek

    You seem to know everyone, and seem to have been around for a long time. What is your take on this? If you would care to tell, who of the 3 would be your choice and why?

  27. Bill Bzdek says:

    Buddy you must be kidding , many cities and towns have already made the switch ,( we are becoming the exception) political donations are not taxpayer money, and Old Style Plantation Politics is rigged for the incumbent.Look at the last 20 years.

    Lauderdale West. FOP,Sun Sentinal , Realtors, all the clubs endorsement , incumbents raise $20,000 or more from developers , Waste , etc. Mailers , go to the forums ( no one goes really except supporters and a few really infomed citizens )put up signs , steal signs and throw some dirt .

    and count the votes because only 10,000 will vote historic.( Fact if you are lucky)

    Diane , Jerry on the council for years could of changed it . Why not ? Nov election someone just might vote none of the above .Cannot control if you change the rules.

    They are scared of Nov.

    and give me a break informed voters . The bloc at Lauderdale West , it sickening how the candidates go to every event and kiss ass. You know exactly what I am talking about .

    Its all about control. Ca

  28. Plantation Resident says:

    @must be crazy
    You seem to really care about making an informed choice, I applaud that. Might I respectfully suggest that you go out and do your own research on the candidates?

    As I said before, go to a forum, ask a few questions, speak to the candidates directly.

    While Mr Bzdek certainly has a varied background and has previously served our community, if you read any of his postings in the past few years (here and elsewhere) he certainly has a few axes to grind with people in this city. I am glad to see that this thread has been civil (for the most part) and some great points have been made.

    The voters need to inform themselves (and Buddy is right, the most informed voters in the city generally come out for the March election) and try not to take other people’s biases or grudges into account.

    This is a very important election indeed.

  29. mustbecrazy says:

    To Plantation Resident,

    Thank you for your comments.

    I do take my right to vote very seriously, as with any election I try to educate myself about the candidates and make the most informed decision I can.

    As you have advised, twice now, I do plan to attend some forums and ask my own questions.

    Part of doing diligent research is to ask questions and listen to what other people have to say.

    I do not find it advisable to only listen to what the candidates have to say; in my opinion they often have a skewed view of reality, however well meant.

    Whether a person has an ax to grind or not, does not negate in totality what they have to say. It is up to me to gather the information and then formulate my own conclusion.

  30. beenhere says:

    Funny – the FOP never endorsed Frank Veltri Wish the police would catch Tom “I’ve found Jesus:” Armstrong going on private property to steal election signs. At the time Bruce Edwards resigned after a couple of months, I thought it was in the paper that the special election cost $109,000.

  31. So Nixionian says:

    The simple truths re endorsements are that the unions, lobbyists and other organizations endorse those with whom they feel comfortable with, ie will not change or mildly change the status quo. The endorsements carry with it a block of voters and volunteers to assist the chosen ones Yes, keeping the election in March does enchance the chances of entrenched politicos. However, the Nov. turnouts are usually equally dismal, but just at a higher volume countywide. If you, as a voter are not proactive in securing an absentee ballot or going to a voting site then do not complain about the result. Real change will only come about when you put some space between your posterior and your chair, move your feet to a polling place and vote. If not, your candidate whomever that is will never win. I for one applaud all the candidates who decided to run in our election,but my vote will go to the one’s I beleive based on my research of their respective records will be able to forge a consensus to lead our city forward

  32. beenhere says:

    Nixsonian – Forging consensus sounds like breaking the sunshine law- a lot of that does happen in Plantation. Use to see Lunny, Edwards and Jacobs huddled at the Elks Club after council. Now Jacobs has slittered out to run again. He did cost us as lot of money before.

    Just playing the Devil’s Advocate here, but how can you prove the three were discussing pending city business? Seeing them huddled doesn’t prove anything…at least in a court.

  33. So Nixonian says:

    to beenhere
    forging a consensus does not break sunshine law when done at council meetings, public workshops etc. As for your Elks club/sunshine law references, if you feel so strongly
    about it and can prove it then file a complaint with the appropriatre state agencies. It’s always easy to make an accusation “cloaked” by an internet screen name.