In what part of town do you live?
Cutler Bay – for about five years.

Where are you originally from?
Coral Gables.

Would you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I am a police officer. I’ve been working for Miami Dade County Police for the last 22 years. And I started off in Hammocks, which is in the West District. From there, I went to agriculture patrol, which was my favorite. I worked with farmers and I had my pickup truck. It was really nice and that area was so awesome. I loved it. They did a cut, so then I went to Palmetto Bay and I’ve been there ever since.

What inspired you to become a police officer?
Originally, I wanted to be a firefighter. They weren’t hiring at the time, so I just applied for the police department with the idea that I would go into the fire department. But I actually started really liking working for the police department. I didn’t think it was as bad as I imagined it. I started liking it, where I went, and the people I helped. It used to be really fun to be a police officer.

What was fun about working in agriculture?
I worked out in the field with farmers and I helped with horses that were injured or slaughtered. If a complaint came in, I would go do a checkup. I would speak with the owner and let them know what they need to do. I would make sure that the horses have everything they need, a shelter, running water, and their food must be accessible and clean where they are at.  And, everything has to be dry.  

What other responsibilities stand out from your time with the Agriculture department?
We also handled burglaries of nurseries and theft of crops like mangoes. People think just because they see a mango tree that they can come and take mangoes, but that could be somebody’s business. Sometimes, people go in and they take trucks full of fruit. They’re not taking it for personal use. I can understand a homeless person may be going in there. That’s different. I would speak to the farmer and the farmers are very, very generous. They’ll be like, yeah, no problem. As long as they ask me that’s okay.

We know about crop theft. It is always an issue. You mentioned you were surprised that you liked the police department. What surprised you?
I do not like the traffic enforcement part of it, but I love that I would go to a domestic and I would feel like I solved a problem, temporarily. That aspect made me feel better, like I’m not just harassing people. I did go into community policing for a little bit before I went to agriculture, and I loved it. It was awesome. I would be strictly in one neighborhood and we would deal with community-oriented policing. We would help kids who needed assistance or didn’t have money. We would do cheer leading and community oriented stuff. Anything but giving tickets and handling calls, it was totally different.

Getting tickets is no fun either. Officer friends have given me advice on what to do when pulled over, what would you share to make that moment easier for both of us?
Basically, not to argue and to listen. A lot of people try to get out of the car really fast and that actually scares an officer. They don’t know what their intent is. Open the windows, maybe just keep your hands on the steering wheel. If you have tints, definitely open the back windows so the officer sees when he’s approaching, that there’s no one in the back of the vehicle. That helps us understand that there’s no threat for us, like somebody who wants to kill us.

How do you decompress after work?
Well, I do yoga and I work out. I made my garage into a gym, and I do yoga. I’m a certified yoga instructor. I just got certified in September of 2019 from Bodhi yoga in the warehouse district by the Falls. I like vinyasa the most, because that’s what my teacher specializes in. And, I’m going to actually try to get certified in chair yoga. When I retire, I’m going to be a yoga teacher.

How has your yoga training and police work influenced each other? Has one affected the other?
Yoga has helped me in my patience. Even though I’ve always kind of had patience, this led me to a different level. It’s because of the breathing. Even when I’m on a call and I feel like I’m getting the feeling that this is a bad call, I go back to my breathing. That’s what yoga has taught me.

And what about the other way around, has, has policing helped your yoga?
Yes, in memory. In yoga, you have to learn the different moves in Sanskrit. I have good memory because of my police work, so it’s helped me with learning and the tests.

Would you share the story of how you discovered LNB?
I think somebody (in your area) was complaining. You were selling juices in front of your house, but everything was completely organized. I don’t think the complaint was that you were selling, but that the line went around the corner. That’s how many people wanted or needed your juice. When we got there, we realized that you guys had it really set up and very organized and offered all of us free juices. (But, every officer insisted on paying for their smoothies). That’s how I fell in love with your juices. They were addictive. It was really sad to have to close businesses down, it’s not like you’re doing anything wrong and you need to make money.

Well… getting busted was the impetus to open our commercial kitchen as a drive through store. And now, you’ve become a regular customer at the drive through. What are you picking up when you visit?
I’ve been busy for about a month and I ran out of your Turmeric. And, I really felt a huge difference. I take your turmeric every morning and usually fast until 11, so my stomach is completely clean and can absorb it all. It’s like medicine for me. Also, the ice cream. My boyfriend is obsessed with the Chocolate Peanut Butter ice cream. He’s like, ‘when are we getting more?’ And I’m like, ‘we haven’t even finished the first one.’ And, I love your smoothies. That’s the reason your line was so big. Everybody said the same thing, ‘we’re here for the smoothies.’

What other businesses have you been supporting during the closures?
We do not really go anywhere. Besides your business, the main places we go are Publix and Fresh Market. I think everybody’s life is like that now. We work out, think of what are we going to make to eat, and watch Netflix.

Are there restaurants that you are you looking forward to going back to once things reopen?
Black Point Marina. It’s so close to my house and I love fish. My boyfriend and I love to try new restaurants, especially healthy ones, so there’s not one in particular. We just like to try different things all the time.

What’s Miami’s best kept secret?
There is a place at Deering point. If you’re going to Black Point and you keep going straight, there’s a pier. We’ll take a bike trailer and bring our pales of live shrimp and we’ll fish.

Is there a question that you would like to ask us?
(AR) Have you thought about selling your turmeric wholesale to stores?

(A+W) We have been thinking about it more during the last few weeks. We are learning what it will take to start that process and make it successful.

Do you have a challenge or words of advice for the community?
Stay positive. Nothing remains the same – good or bad.