Amid mystery, Biscayne Park police chief resigns

A log cabin houses the Biscayne Park Police Department.
A log cabin houses the Biscayne Park Police Department.
DANIEL BOCK/For the Miami Herald

Biscayne Park Police Chief Ray Atesiano — one of the village's three top cops suspended March 27 for unexplained reasons —has resigned, the village manager said.

In an email to residents, Village Manager Heidi Shafran said acting corporal Thomas "Tommy" Harrison will take control of the department until an interim chief is named.

"The village administration and police department are committed to the safety of our community," Shafran said in her email.

Shafran suspended Atesiano, Capt. Lawrence Churchman and Cpl. Nicholas Wollschlager two weeks ago, but hasn't explained publicly why or even acknowledged who was suspended.

Requests for information were met with an email link warning anyone releasing information about the ongoing investigation could be charged with a crime.

Shafran said the village has hired a private security consultant to conduct possible misdeeds. The village's five commissioners and the mayor have remained mum.

Biscayne Park is a small municipality tucked between Miami Shores and North Miami, with 3,000 residents and 11 full-time police officers.

It is perhaps best known for its iconic log cabin Village Hall, signs throughout the city that warn drivers not to speed, and for having a police department with a propensity for writing traffic tickets.

A year-end police report in 2012 showed village officers had issued 5,187 traffic tickets and made 733 arrests — 351 which were traffic-related.

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