Despite multiple investigations and numerous attempts to dismiss him, it seems like Sgt. German Bosque, 48, of the Opa-locka, Fla., Police Department is the $60,000-a-year police officer who can't be fired.
Sgt. Bosque (image courtesy NY Daily News)
He has been accused of car theft, beating juveniles, falsifying reports, boarding a plane with a loaded gun, possession of narcotics, and stealing from suspects. He has been disciplined for driving with a suspended license, disobeying direct orders, and engaging in high-speed chases (one of which resulted in four deaths).
And then there’s this little gem [via the Miami Herald]:
In February 2008 … the state attorney’s office began noticing that key drug evidence in some of his cases was missing. [Bosque’s] police car was inspected, and investigators found an empty Smirnoff vodka bottle, a small bag of cocaine, crack pipes, Florida license plates, a pile of driver’s licenses he had seized, along with a stack of arrest reports he had never turned in.
He was expelled from police academy twice and fired from two other departments before joining the Opa-locka force. He has a mile-long record of misconduct and has been investigated dozens of times by the police. He has been arrested and jailed three times and fired at least six. He has been disciplined more than any officer in the Sunshine State, according to the Daily Mail, and yet, he’s still on the payroll.
How has he not been kicked off the force yet? Well, there may be several factors at play here.
First, it probably doesn’t help that the Opa-locka Police Department itself is an infamously corrupt mess. In 2011, there were 41 internal investigations, which, when you consider the fact that the department only has 68 officers, is staggering. Furthermore, the department has a high turnover rate. Since first joining the Opa-locka force in 1993, Sgt. Bosque has had 16 different police chiefs.
Other factors that probably contribute to his ability to stay on the force include obscure loopholes, departmental incompetence, and bureaucratic red tape.
When the sergeant was busted with that Smirnoff vodka bottle, the bag of cocaine, etc., the state attorney didn’t prosecute him because “there was no evidence of criminal intent,” the Miami Herald reports.
At other times, the Opa-locka department simply “dropped the ball on almost all the internal affairs complaints on Bosque,” the report adds.
And as for the bureaucratic red tape, the Herald explains:
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission, which reviews police misconduct, has repeatedly declined to strip Bosque of his law enforcement certificate.
The state’s police unions have successfully persuaded legislators to pass laws that protect officers and provide loopholes that allow cops like Bosque to keep their badges and their guns.
Furthermore, as the Daily Mail explains: “The department is not allowed to consider an officer's misconduct history when ruling on a specific case.”
“If a police chief doesn’t have the power to fire them he or she is helpless,” said Retired North Miami Police Major, Bob Lynch.
Sgt. Bosque believes the current investigation against him is part of a “witch hunt” and that he’s really a good cop. He admits that he made mistakes when he was a rookie, but now he’s all grown up and different.
“Back then I was a big hot dog. I was catching bad guys, getting commendations while all the other guys were lazy,” he told the Miami Herald. “I love being a policeman. I love looking in the mirror and the person I see.”
“He is a time bomb that has now exploded,” she said.
Watch the CBS Miami news brief:
And for those of you who stuck with this article to its bitter end, here's the kicker: Sgt. Bosque is currently under suspension pending yet another investigation into misconduct. He stays at home and collects his $60,000-a-year paycheck for doing nothing, according to the Herald.