Miami-Dade Cops Fired for Allegedly Ignoring Dispatch Calls
(MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla.) -- A Miami-Dade County police sergeant and two officers have been fired, while three others have been suspended, for allegedly blowing off emergency dispatch calls, officials said.
Authorities launched an internal police investigation into the Kendall District police squad in 2010. Sgt. Jennifer Gonzalez and officers Dario Socarras and Jose Huerta have been fired while officers Jeffrey Price, Fabian Owens and Ivan Tomas were stripped of their badges, officials said. The three fired employees have appealed to get their jobs back.
Police say they secretly watched and videotaped the officers allegedly shopping and visiting family outside the police district while on the clock.
“The idea of not going to a call honestly never crosses your mind,” James Loftus, a former Miami-Dade police director, said. “That’s not so much about being a bad cop, that’s about being a bad human being.”
Investigators said they also tracked the officers’ movements using GPS devices in their vehicles.
In one instance, Socarras was filmed in October 2010 drinking coffee while allegedly ignoring an emergency dispatch call about an unconscious 5-month-old baby. Gonzalez, Socarras’ supervisor, was sitting at a restaurant table with him when he ignored the call, according to internal documents from the investigation obtained by ABC News.
He got the call at 5:36 p.m. about the unconscious boy. He wrote in his daily activity report that he “arrived and cleared the call at 5:42 p.m.,” according to the documents. But the surveillance video shows him at the restaurant having coffee and “making no attempt to respond to the call for a total of six minutes,” until he was cancelled from the call at 5:42 p.m., the documents allege.
Hours before, Socarras ignored an armed robbery dispatch call and was spotted with his arms wrapped around a woman outside a mall, who met him numerous times while on the job, according to the documents. He was seen with the woman -- described as his girlfriend -- in the parking lot of the mall for more than half an hour from 3:22 to 3:56 p.m. while on duty, the documents allege. The call came in at 3:46 for an armed robbery.
Another unit from “a location substantially further from the robbery responded,” according to the documents, while Socarras stayed with the woman. He later allegedly falsified his daily activity report, saying he arrived as backup at 3:48 p.m., the documents say.
ABC News attempted to contact all the accused, reaching only Socarras, who had no comment.
“Not only are they not providing services to the residents, they’re also making other officers do their work for them, so that’s really kind of a despicable action,” Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez said.
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