Vote For Miami's Worst Cop of 2012
Why she is the worst: Long before she was promoted to police chief in 2008, Cason was disciplined 22 times in an eight-year period between 1984 (the year she was hired) and 1991, when she tested positive for cocaine in two separate tests.
The department rehired her in 1999 after reaching a settlement with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement that allowed her to keep her police certification. Cason has denied taking illegal drugs, asserting the tests were tainted.
In 2011, then-Opa-Locka city manager Clarence Patterson suspended her after she failed to report an accident in her city vehicle, allegedly breaking a mirror as she backed out of her driveway. She failed to call an accident investigator as required by a policy she instituted, according to an Miami Herald investigative report in June.
The same story found that under Cason's tenure, there were 41 internal affairs investigations against Opa-Locka's 58-member force in 2011. Ten police officers being fired or forced to resign after the probes found that some had been discharged from other departments for wrongdoing, had criminal records or lied on their job applications.
In October, one of her former captains Arthur Balom pled guilty to conspiracy to distribute cocaine, Ecstasy and Oxycodone. According to the federal indictment, Balom aided and abetted Opa-Locka's Back Blue Gang by re-routing cops away from the gang would do business. Balom would also tell the gang about police activity in the area and assist members when they came into contact with law enforcement.
No wonder Opa-Locka's crime rate remains among the highest in Florida for cities of its size.
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