Miami Gardens Police Department: K-9 officer followed protocol

MGPD launches investigation after video shows K-9 cruiser speeding on Florida's Turnpike

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla.The Miami Gardens Police Department says a K-9 officer followed protocol when he was spotted speeding on Florida's Turnpike while responding to a call 20 miles away.

Video first showed the cruiser with its emergency lights activated heading northbound on the Turnpike at 7:16 a.m. Wednesday. The officer was leaving from Kendall.

An investigation was launched afterwards by the police department.

Local 10's Ben Kennedy on Thursday met with Miami Gardens Deputy Police Chief Paul Miller, who said the K-9 officer was headed to track down a burglar, but was half an hour away.

"He was more than 20 miles away. Is it policy to respond to a call from that distance?" asked Kennedy.

"From a specialized unit, such as K-9, that is standard," Miller said.

The officer left from Kendall Drive and Florida's Turnpike. He was headed to Northwest 7th Avenue and 188th Street in Miami Gardens.

"Was someone closer to the scene that could have responded?" asked Kennedy.

"He was within policy," said Miller.

Miami Gardens Mayor Oliver Gilbert supported the deputy chief.

"It's not just an officer but a K-9 officer, so not all of our officers have dogs," Gilbert said. "If it were just another officer and he was responding from 20 miles way it would be one story, but the fact that it was a K-9 officer and he was responding to set a perimeter, it's a different story."

The officer's lights were activated for nearly 20 minutes as other drivers scrambled to get out of the way; At one point, he veered onto the shoulder as a truck took too long to move.

"Each situation dictates the need depending on what we need at the time," said Miller. "There is a request from a supervisor for K-9 and there is no set distance."