Update: Police Say Vice Mayor Joked About Running Over Cops




Margate Vice Mayor Arlene Schwartz quipped late last month publicly about about running over police officers with a vehicle, says the city’s Fraternal Other of Police president.

FOP Lodge #75 President George Woolley called Schwartz comments “outrageous and unacceptable.”

A longtime Margate politician, Schwartz is due to be named the city’s mayor by her fellow commissioners on Wednesday.

In an open letter obtained by Browardbeat.com, Wooley put his thoughts in writing:

He wrote that the incident occurred at the City of Margate Fall Festival as Schwartz was “walking in the VIP Parking area towards her vehicle (she)  made an unsolicited comment, which was directed at the officers standing nearby.  The comment was “Be careful we have a bet going on how many cops we can mow down.”


Arlene Schwartz




(I find it curious that commissioners park in a VIP area. Do these small town politicians really believe they are Very Important People? I guess commissioners like Schwartz believe they are so important they don’t have to park in the same place as the other 58,000 residents of Margate.)

Schwartz has been around politics long enough to know when to keep her mouth shut. The retired Community Schools Director from the Broward Schools, Schwartz has been on-and-off the City Commission since 1991. She was mayor before in 1999-2001.

I’m sure Schwartz, who could not be reached for comment, will tell Browardbeat.com it was all a joke.  Well, if it was a joke, Arlene, it wasn’t funny!

Or as Woolley wrote, “Words matter and they have consequences.  As we (police officers) are held to a higher standard of conduct, so should elected officials.”

Days after this piece was posted, the police released an incident statement on the event.  That can be found by clicking on the link below:


2017 Fall Festival After Action report



Here is Woolley’s complete letter:

20 Responses to “Update: Police Say Vice Mayor Joked About Running Over Cops”

  1. City activist Robert Walsh says:

    So the incident in where was it North miami was her fault.And then the FOP director in his response that nation wide how many cops are run over.What was it a little over hundred.Thats her fault as well.Come on..Vice Mayor play nice,nice.Apologize for the inappropriate comment u made and lets move on.

  2. She made me feel bad says:

    Hey Geeorgie.
    Toughen up there buttercup,do you need a safe space to run to?

    Also quit calling me soliciting money for FOP.

  3. Rika DeMascolo says:

    Not funny, I’m sure if an officer made a similar comment regarding county officials, and Ms Schwartz heard this that officer would have been looking at being fired. So maybe we need to remember if you cant say anything nice dont say it at all.

  4. Nat Falcon says:

    It’s not a matter of blaming all the other incidents on her. But a matter of her taking responsibility for such an egregious comment. It today’s society you would think she would be backing and supporting her officers who keep the city she is a commissioner for safe as opposed to wanting to run them down with her car. If she said that to a civilian it would be a bigger deal but because they are cops they are suppose to just take it and not complain because she is a commissioner.

  5. Stand with the cops says:

    Robert Walsh play nice nice? Have you met this woman? Have you had to deal with her? Words Matter. She will say it was a joke. A joke by someone who votes on the FOP contracts. A vote who can cut the budget for the police force.(and did for an assistant chief of police position). It was an ignorant statement made by a person who does not believe there are any consequences for her actions. Maybe she should talk to Stuart Mayor. http://www.tcpalm.com/story/news/local/shaping-our-future/2017/01/30/stuart-mayor-eula-clarke-facing-call-step-down-after-flap-over-comments/97237864/

  6. Resident of Margate says:

    If a police officer made that comment to anyone they would be unemployed. It would make news headlines and the States attorney would be looking into some sort of assault charges. Yet, people think that it was ok for an elected official to say that to the police officers that work in their city? Apparently this commissioner has no respect for the police officers, who’s job it is to protect her. Makes me wonder how much respect she has for the citizens in the city she serves. This is the same commissioner who voted herself a car allowance and a huge raise? That’s how much she respects the citizens.

  7. Snowflake says:

    Thank God I don’t live in Margate! Your cops are a bunch of snowflakes.. tighten the F up!

  8. Marty Sandler says:

    BFD. The remark was out of order. The reaction was out of proportion. All of you should just shut up.

  9. Charlie Costa says:

    There is one line that no body is paying attention to in this story.
    “She was standing near the mayor and his wife” When she made remark of “we have a bet …….” .
    Who had the bet Mayor Ruzzano and Schwartz or Ruzzano’s wife and Schwartz?
    They have to go.

  10. Arlene Schwartz says:

    How nice it would have been had someone asked me if this actually happened. It did not. The value of having caller ID on all my phones is that it tracks calls made to me. Mr. Nevins you did not call. Shame on you for publishing something you did not vette for accuracy. When you wrote for the Sun-Sentinel, you were better than that. I realize that by responding to this “article” which was sent to me, I run the risk of perpetuating this myth, however, I can not allow the character assassination to go unanswered. I would never make any statement that would invite harm to anyone, much less a law enforcement officer. Perhaps you should question the timing of the FOP’s letter, sent two weeks after the alleged incident, while Mr. Woolley is on vacation and unavailable, and more importantly immediately prior to the City Commission’s vote for Mayor and Vice Mayor.


    Ms. Schwartz was accused by the representative of her own police force in writing of making that statement.

    I don’t ever remember a police organization openly attacking a mayor with such an allegation. That makes it a story.

    The story’s headline — Police: Vice Mayor Joked About Running Over Cops — made it clear that this was an allegation from the police. I reprinted the letter in full. People can decide for themselves.

    There is no way to vet such a story. There is only the word of the people who were there.

    The police claim you made the comment. You deny making the statement.

    Call me a cynic, but just because you deny it happen doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. Why would the police make up such a strange allegation? In my mind, it has the ring of truth or at least they believe that is what you said.

    The question Margate residents have to ask is why your relations with the police are so poor that this even surfaced? Hmmmm.

    Now to the Sun-Sentinel: There was a time when this would have run in the Sun-Sentinel, but the paper hardly covers Margate today. When was the last time you saw a Sun-Sentinel reporter at your meeting? Maybe that’s why the letter was leaked to Browardbeat.com.

  11. Stand with Cops says:

    Vice Mayor Schwartz is saying she did not say it.

  12. City activist Robert Walsh says:

    Now this gets better for Wooley.She states he is lying.Now wooley u get atty.and sue her defamation.

  13. Shanon G says:

    I am disgusted at the Sun Sentinel for refused to pick up this story.

    Buddy, these are the stories that keep me coming back to BrowardBeat. Thank you.

    True or false, these accusations deserve to be discussed. If they are false, the officer involved needs to be reprimanded for spreading false claims. If the accusations are true, I believe Ms. Schwartz needs to resign.

  14. A resident from Margate says:

    First I am really concerned about our police leadership. I think Wooley is a coward for releasing this statement the day he goes on a cruise. Yes I did some research and Wooley went on vacation so he doesn’t have to answer questions about his letter.

    Secondly I know commissioner Schwartz personally for years and that statement is 100% out of character for her. Please don’t believe everything you read on the internet. I attend city commission meetings on a regular basis and commissioner Schwartz always had their back when the police was attacked.

    Thirdly – I tried to find an independent source to confirm Wooley’s statement and everywhere I looked the main source and only source was Wooley’s letter.

    Forth – it is kind of suspicious to me that after a member of the Margate commission publicly protest the possible nomination of commissioner Schwartz as mayor and the protest was pretty much ignored by a majority of the commission, all a sudden this story comes out?

    Just a humble opinion of an involved Margate resident, but I hope this opinion makes done people here think and look at this from a possible other angle – politically motivated character assesination.

    Thanks for taking the time to read my comment.

  15. FOP calling for donation says:

    We all know that LEO’s don’t lie. Maybe Woolley was just embellishing the fishing story, after all he was not present.

    Remember Seth Adams.

  16. Rich says:

    Margate is the laughingstock of Broward County. And, that’s quite an accomplishment.

  17. City activist Robert Walsh says:

    Biggest mistake she made was her above mentioned comments.

  18. Stand with cops says:

    1st there is a report of the incident
    2nd an officer went to the Chief the day after the incident
    3rd the Chief did nothing about it.
    4th No one was opposed to her becoming Mayor.
    5th the commission would not agree to an investigation of the incident.
    6th What possible motive would 4 police officers have to lie?
    7th she is part of the majority so nothing would have stopped her from becoming Mayor.

  19. Lie detector says:

    Looks like Margate’s newly elected mayor is wearing egg on her face. It’s one thing to make jokes like that to police officers, it’s another to make a bold face lie about it. Makes me wonder what else she lies about. It is obvious why past Mayor Ruzzano voted against an investigation, his wife was also making comments related to Swartz’s inappropriate “joking”

  20. Le Peerman says:

    #14 A Nargate Resident
    Unfortunately you have your facts incorrect. This story came out before I asked for an investigation into the INCIDENT(not into then Vice mayor Schwartz as other blogs have inferred). Vice Mayor mentioned Broward Beat in her statement. Now for some facts. I received the letter on Sunday from a retired police officer. I fully expected Vice Mayor Schwartz to have said something to the effect that she did not mean any harm by her “joke” and that she realizes that in these times one can not make jokes concerning police officers. That’s what I thought would happen however the Vice Mayor took the “it did not happen route”
    As we had a number of police officers saying one thing and and elected official saying another, I asked for an investigation into the incident. Anyone who knows me who would think I would not ask for an investigation does not know me. How it was turned around to be a character assassination created by me is utterly ridiculous and possibly slander(I will be checking with my attorney). I don’t have that super power to be able to get police to lie for me. I was also unaware that George Woolley was the FOP president. I have said and I believe we govern ourselves, that did not happen as the majority voted against an investigation. I released the police report since I do believe the residents have a right to know both sides of the story(as I said that night). Anything further about the incident is up to the residents. Another fact you got wrong is I protested the bypassing of Commissioner Simone again as Vice Mayor to put a one year commissioner as Vice Mayor. I voted no for Mayor Schwartz for her decision to not do what was best for the city when she had the opportunity.