A Miami-Dade police sergeant and two officers have been fired, and three others have been suspended, capping a two-year investigation into accusations that they ignored emergency calls, filed false police reports and lied about calls they handled, Miami-Dade police spokeswoman Nancy Perez said Tuesday.
The Miami-Dade Internal Affairs Bureau launched the investigation into the Kendall District police squad in 2010. The discharged officers are fighting to get their jobs back.
The officers — who worked the 2-to-10 p.m. shift — were followed, captured on video and tracked with GPS devices. More than 130 violations of department policy were documented.
Fired were Sgt. Jennifer Gonzalez and officers Dario Socarras and Jose Huerta. The other three — officers Jeffrey Price, Fabian Owens and Ivan Tomas — were suspended without pay in September and are back on the job.
Gonzalez was caught shopping, loading purchases into her patrol car and visiting her parents — all while on duty — according to CBS 4’s Jim Defede, who first reported the investigation and its outcome. Socarras ignored emergency calls, including a robbery, instead having a romantic rendezvous with his girlfriend at the Dadeland Mall.
A video captures him making out with the woman while in uniform. He also ignored a call involving a 5-year-old boy who was unconscious and locked inside a car, telling dispatchers he was on his way when, in fact, he was having a cup of coffee with Gonzalez and Huerta, who also ignored the emergency call.
The child was tended to by paramedics.
Price, Owens and Tomas were given suspensions of from five to 20 hours without pay. They, too, ignored a number of emergency calls.
Although police internal affairs investigations of individual officers are not uncommon in an agency as large as the Miami-Dade Police Department, a probe of an entire squad is unusual.
The boundaries of the Kendall District are Bird Road to the north, Coral Reef Drive to the south, Biscayne Bay on the east and Florida’s Turnpike on the west.