Don't think people in Florida are invested in hockey? Well, we have the story about off-duty cops using their on-duty accessories to aid the Florida Panthers for you: On Sunday evening, two Sunrise police officers, one driving a police car and one driving an unmarked police car, flipped on their police lights and sirens and raced to Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport to retrieve baggage for five minor league players called up that day because three members of the regular rotation had recently been injured.
Everyday heroes who may have broken a couple laws:
Police officials say an allegation that two officers turned on their lights and sirens while driving to the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport to fetch hockey equipment for the Florida Panthers before Sunday night's game is true.
The incident came to light late Monday after someone claiming to be a Sunrise resident sent an email to City Manager Alan Cohen and the entire City Commission.
"The police were asked to do it because the Panthers didn't think their vehicle could get to the airport and back by game time," the email said. "The police agreed to go to the airport with the Panthers employee with their lights and sirens on! When did it become OK to drive with lights and sirens on for nonsense like this? ... I also asked a few Sunrise cops if they can drive with lights and sirens on with civilians in the car and the answer was NO."
That said, Police Chief John Brooks had a rational explanation:
"It was an emergency," Brooks said.
And a thorough review determined that no department policies were broken, says Sgt. Rodney Hailey:
Hailey said he did not know whether the officers were speeding on the way to the airport and back.
There you go. In case you were wondering, the announced attendance for that game against the Carolina Hurricanes was 15,978, about 83% of capacity, and it dropped the Panthers to 6-11-5. As the Police Chief noted, an emergency.