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Police union in Miami-Dade launches own "racy" radio show

@doug_hanks

John Rivera, head of Miami-Dade's police union and a leading foe of county Mayor Carlos Gimenez, has secured his own radio show

The union is buying time for a twice-a-month radio show on 880 AM, and the premiere hour-long episode airs tonight at  9 p.m.

Rivera and other union leaders will tackle "topics and issues facing our community which require more than 15 second soundbyte responses," according to a release from the Police Benevolent Association union. "According to Rivera, like most things the Dade County PBA undertakes, the show will be racy and thought provoking."

While the first episode was taped Wednesday, the show eventually plans to air live. That should make things interesting, given Rivera's tendency for explosive quotes. 

In the spring, Rivera warned residents they needed to "buy firearms" if Gimenez went through with a plan to cut officer jobs. (The mayor didn't.) He wrote an item for the union's newsletter comparing the mayor to a sexually transmitted disease -- "Gimenez is like herpes -- the 'gift' that keeps giving" -- and recently called the mayor a "terrorist" after Miami-Dade laid-off two police videographers

The mayor's office said it had no comment on the union's new radio show. In an interview, Rivera said the show won't focus on the union's ongoing contract talks or other sources of county friction.

"I think the audience would be bored just to hear about our differences," he said. "It’s going to allow us to speak about things that quite honestly no media outlet has the time to do."

The PBA is paying another 880 AM show for the time. The Gray Zone politics show pays for its morning slots on 880 AM and has the PBA as a sponsor. Gray Zone also controls some night slots for reruns, and is selling the PBA air time as part of its sponsorship package, said Fred Menachem, a Gray Zone host and partner who also served as a host of the Rapid Response debut.

Menachem, a former paid political consultant now launching a health-care company, said he's staying neutral in the PBA-versus-county fight. "It's not an endorsement," Menachem said of his hosting role. 

While Menachem and union officials make up the first round-table, Rivera said Rapid Response plans to bring guests on for lively discussions. 

"I’m thinking about being bold and at some point in the future inviting Gimenez," he said. "Whether he shows up or not, that’s up to him."

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