Opa-locka Cops Accused of Massive Corruption

Categories: News
opa-locka_police_small.jpg
via NowPublic
State authorities are probing what could be the most significant police corruption in years in perpetually troubled Opa-locka.

According to city memos obtained by Miami New Times and confirmed by manager Clarance Patterson, officers have told internal investigators that city cops:

1. had sex with arrested offenders rather than prosecute them.
2. stole property from the station.
3. ordered lower ranking officers to release a person arrested and discard the report, which would violate state law.
4. bought liquor and then improperly transported it in police vehicles for private parties.
5. horsed around with Tasers on the job.

"If proven, this is serious business," says Patterson. "This wasn't something that happened yesterday, it has been happening over the course of years."

The allegations are the result of a month-long internal investigation of city cops that Patterson said he ordered in January after hearing complaints. He said many of the problems predate his tenure as manager, which started 15 months ago.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement has found similar problems in the department in the past, according to a New Times story published in 2008. Opa-locka is one of the county's poorest cities. It has a long history of political corruption and discord.

According to city documents, Patterson ordered the survey of police January 27, and it was completed in late February. The city's personnel director and an assistant city manager interviewed 11 members of the city's executive staff and 6 cops.

They found exceedingly low morale and that complaints by officers had often not been followed up. "The department is built on deception," is even listed in the report's "comments" section. Many other comments refer to racially charged issues in the largely black department.

In March, Patterson suspended Opa-locka police chief Cheryl Cason, claiming she had failed to report a minor accident.

Patterson said he contacted the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to report the findings and that agents -- after contacting county prosecutors -- had agreed Thursday to probe the city's department. Asked why no one was being fired, Patterson said: "It looks radical but these claims need to be proven...This happened over a period of years but there are allegations against officers who are still here."

Opa-locka Memo

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13 comments
Five-0
Five-0

a bunch of morons watch reno 911 then go to bay harbor islands

M3132004-alt
M3132004-alt

Most the Officers interviewed were either new unexprienced officers that only want want want and cry over everything when they dont get their way. I bet if they were allowed to run amuck and they would not be complaining. Get the real facts and not the opinions of crying inexeperience. If it so bad why havent they left. Every department has issues, these officers just like to gossip and complain about everything that doesnt go their way.

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stan lee
stan lee

They should try to pay their cops appropriately and then they might actually get some qualified candidates.  

Michael Wind
Michael Wind

 bay harbor islands fl is the most corrupt town in usa.

Guest
Guest

DHS is expanding their polygraph program to fight corruption of their CBP agents. All levels of law enforcement should follow their lead. - http://t.co/fMENr6oCorruption on any level is no longer an option we can ignore in this war on terror. Accountability starts with us. 

P_Nis
P_Nis

Horsing around with tazers proves they have a sense of humor, cut the opa locka PD some slack yo!

Mercadoyolanda48
Mercadoyolanda48

That is so true* They need new and real good working cops who want to work and get off the donuts lol

Dees_Nuts
Dees_Nuts

Bay Harbor Islands is  not that bad as miami

MercadoYolanda48
MercadoYolanda48

Gossip is not the word! Those Opa Locka cops do nothing but ea,t hang in bars and get lap dances , THEY ARE A JOKE TO THE CITY(*&^%%$##@#

mindboogie
mindboogie

Yes, I agree, unfortunately few even know where Bay Harbor Islands is located.   The police department there is more corrupt than Opa-locka.  Just haven't been caught yet.  

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