OPALOCKA, FLORIDA – Opa-locka has the dubious distinction of employing the cop who can’t be fired. Though the city keeps on trying.
Sgt. German Bosque of the Opa-locka Police Department has been disciplined, suspended, fined and sent home with pay more than any officer in the state.
He has been accused of cracking the head of a handcuffed suspect, beating juveniles, hiding drugs in his police car, stealing from suspects, defying direct orders and lying and falsifying police reports. He once called in sick to take a vacation to Cancún and has engaged in a rash of unauthorized police chases, including one in which four people were killed.
Arrested and jailed three times, Bosque, 48, has been fired at least six times. Now under suspension pending yet another investigation into misconduct, Bosque stays home and collects his $60,000-a-year paycheck for doing nothing.
Before he was ever hired in Opa-locka 19 years ago, Bosque, whose nickname is GB, was tossed out of the police academy twice and fired from two police departments. Each time he has faced trouble he has been reinstated with back pay. He boldly brags about his ability to work a law enforcement system that allows bad cops to keep their certification even in the face of criminal charges.
“He is a time bomb that has now exploded,” said Opa-locka Police Chief Cheryl Cason.
Bosque’s attorney, William Amlong, in a letter to Opa-locka’s city attorney, contends that Bosque is being harassed and punished with no good reason. He has been told he is the focus of a criminal investigation, but has not been told what he has done wrong other than run a red light in Aventura a year ago.
In the letter written June 27, Amlong urges the city to return Bosque to duty so he can serve the city, “rather than sleeping late and watching telenovelas and Cops reruns.”
By no means is Bosque the only police officer in South Florida to straddle both sides of the law, but his disciplinary record and his city’s inability to get rid of him are a study in how legal loopholes allow troubled cops to stay on the street.
Bosque admits that in his early years as an officer, he was immature and made some mistakes. But he insists he is a good, hardworking police officer.
“Back then I was a big hot dog. I was catching bad guys, getting commendations while all the other guys were lazy,” he said.
TROUBLE AT THE POLICE ACADEMY
In 1983, Bosque was hired as a public service aide by Dade County, but after being dismissed from that job two years later, he got a job with the county working as a locksmith. “I still wanted to be a police officer,” Bosque said. He soon realized that the sleepy little hamlet of Virginia Gardens was looking to hire cops. He began as a dispatcher at night, and the city put him through the Miami-Dade Police Academy.
He almost made it through, but two weeks shy of graduating in 1990, Bosque, then 26, and another recruit were arrested for carrying a fake police badge they bought at a police equipment store. They were charged with impersonating a police officer, auto theft and possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony. The pickup truck they were driving had been reported stolen almost a year earlier from the county housing division, where Bosque once worked.
He was fired from Virginia Gardens and tossed out of the police academy because of the arrest, even though the charges were later dropped.