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22 News

The COASTAL STAR

Boca Raton

April 2018

Making way

City to aid shared-ride firms to help downtown transit By Mary Hladky

Shared-ride businesses operating downtown soon will have six locations where they can park until passengers contact them to be picked up. The waiting areas also will give the shared-ride vehicles greater visibility. Three of the waiting areas will be located at the main destinations of people using the services — Mizner Park, Royal Palm Place and the beach. Waiting areas also will be at City Hall and at a nearby building that houses city departments. The Wildflower park was added to the list at the March 26 CRA meeting. Companies offering sharedride services in the city told city staff they wanted well-lit waiting areas available around the clock and marked with signage, Downtown Manager Ruby Childers told council members. Three shared-ride companies started operating in the city since last spring. Round the Town offers free rides in six-

seat electric shuttles, with customers calling or texting for a ride. Boca Bike Tours is a free pedicab service riders can hail or call for a pickup. Slidr provides free, on-demand service in electric vehicles via an app and phone. The companies opened shop in Boca Raton after the Downtowner left at the end of 2016. City Council members encouraged private companies to offer service in the city with the aim of lessening downtown traffic congestion. The waiting areas will be along northbound Plaza Real south of Northeast Fifth Street in Mizner Park, on East Palmetto Park Road just west of A1A near South Beach Park, along Southeast First Avenue in Royal Palm Place, in the parking lot behind City Hall, in the parking lot of the cityowned building on Northwest Second Street north of City Hall on weekends only, and the Wildflower park at 551 E. Palmetto Park Road. Ú

Mandarin Oriental, Boca Raton — March 23

The face of downtown Boca Raton continues to change. The former Citibank and SunTrust buildings are being demolished to make room for the project that will include the Mandarin Oriental Hotel and The Residences at Mandarin Oriental, Boca Raton. The 164-room Mandarin Oriental will go up next to 101 Via Mizner, a 366-unit apartment building that marked the first phase of the luxury Via Mizner project. The 12-story hotel and condos are expected to open in 2020. Photo provided by Glen Calder

Police sergeant fired after ‘conduct unbecoming’ By Sallie James A Boca Raton police sergeant accused of using the N-word, making racially insensitive jokes and lying under oath has

been fired. Jeremy Codling, 40, who was hired in May 2005, was let go in early March for conduct unbecoming a police officer, unlawful harassment, hostile

and demeaning jokes and being untruthful under oath, according to internal affairs documents. The discipline stems from a complaint filed by Officer Carl

Desir, who is black, regarding racially offensive comments made by Codling in May and December 2015 when the two were members of the Special Weapons and Tactics team, according to the investigation. The report says Codling’s coworkers affirmed that the white police sergeant had a history of making comments involving race that had targeted blacks, Jews and Hispanics. Desir said he filed his complaint after learning that a recently hired black officer who had worked for Codling had quit unexpectedly. That officer told Desir that Codling may have had a bias against him because he was black, the report said. Desir said that scenario spurred him to step forward. Desir’s complaint stemmed from a May 2015 incident when a fellow SWAT team member wondered aloud if he could take an old tarp from a storage area and Codling responded, “I thought black people were the ones who were always stealing things.” Desir said he replied by calling Codling a racist, because “the ongoing blatant disrespect Codling showed for me in that moment, as well as all black people, infuriated me,” the report stated. Codling told investigators he didn’t make racist comments to Desir and said he was “shocked” that he didn’t notice Desir was upset during the SWAT session in May 2015. In another incident, Codling urged a fellow officer to answer his phone with the words: “What’s up, my n-----?” “Never say that word around

me again,” an angry Desir told Codling after overhearing the comment. According to the report, Codling made further racist comments in a text thread about a “white Jewish [man] and a black male,” stating that the black man had to be the Jewish man’s chauffeur. Codling also texted a meme of a white man with the words, “What’s black and never works? Decaffeinated coffee, you bastard!” the internal affairs report said. “I remember saying to Sgt. Codling that if he ever gets accused of being racist, I will be the first person to stand up and support that person’s case,” Desir wrote in a letter to the Boca Raton Police Services Department. Desir added, “I believed Codling’s inherent disdain for black people could affect his behavior with or around black people as it was apparent in my encounters with him.” The department released the following statement about Codling’s termination: “The city and the Police Services Department recognize that our effectiveness in community policing is based on trust. In addition to maintaining formal and informal discussions with the diverse groups within our city, all officers in the Police Services Department have completed training in Fair and Impartial Policing. This employment action demonstrates the city’s commitment to address any conduct which might undermine the confidence of the people we serve.” Ú

The Coastal Star April 2018 Boca  

Serving Highland Beach and Coastal Boca Raton

The Coastal Star April 2018 Boca  

Serving Highland Beach and Coastal Boca Raton

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