Days after Aventura police charged him with driving under the influence, Police Maj. Peter Cruz resigned from the Opa-locka Police Department.
Cruz, 56, was behind bars Monday, soaked in his own urine and charged with DUI. Aventura police arrested him after the 30-year law enforcement veteran plowed his silver Opa-locka-issued pickup across a popular exercise trail behind Aventura Mall near Turnberry Isle Resort — the pickup perched on a bank of trees.
Opa-locka Police Chief Jeffrey Key on Friday sent a memo to newly hired City Manager Steve Shiver, the police department, and other city officials, announcing Cruz’s resignation.
According to the two-sentence document, Cruz resigned effective Thursday.
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Cruz, who was alone at the time of the crash, walked away unscathed and twice refused to take a sobriety test.
Opa-locka Mayor Myra Taylor told the Miami Herald afterward that Cruz’s behavior doesn’t represent what “we are looking for in our agency.”
Cruz got his start in law enforcement at North Miami Police Department. After 20 years there, his personnel jacket was filled with internal affairs investigations, occurring as often as once a year. Among the allegations: Cruz was accused of perjury, leaving his police gun unattended and conduct unbecoming an officer.
In North Miami, Cruz became friendly with Key, who at the time also worked in the department. In March 2013, both Cruz and Key retired from supervisory police jobs there. Both men applied in Opa-locka (Key for chief, Cruz for assistant chief), but only Key was hired. Months later, Key and then-Opa-locka City Manager Kelvin Baker quietly hired Cruz as a police major, despite the nearly two-dozen North Miami internal affairs investigations.
In Opa-locka, two city employees recently accused Cruz of drawing a picture of two uniformed officers smoking cigars while a man is lynched in the background. The words “sergeant minority” were written across the bottom.