Miami-Dade Police Director Reassigns 16 Public Corruption Cops

If you're the ultimate pessimist, J.D. Patterson's move to reassign 16 detectives from the Miami-Dade Police Public Corruption Bureau to other units means the fight against public rackets just got weaker. Political blogger Elaine de Valle, who first broke the news, offered her cynical take: "Guess we're done with the public corruption in this town! Already? Really? Really? We don't need them anymore? We don't have any more fake companies securing county contracts to bilk the taxpayers out of millions?"

We feel ya Elaine, we feel ya. It's a damn shame. But conspiracy theories aside, on its face, the transfers seem to reflect a police department operating on a tightened belt.

It appears many of the public corruption detectives are being sent to units that are just as important, if not more, such as economic crimes and homicide. There are far more villains ripping off and terrorizing the general public than shifty politicians, anyhow.

According to a July 29 memo from Patterson distributed throughout the department, he's merging the public corruption unit with the Professional Compliance Bureau, which handles internal affairs investigations. Ten IA detectives will join 15 cops who will remain in the public corruption detail. So it's only a net loss of six detectives if you look at it from rose-colored cop Aviators.

Although the reassignment of Ofcr. Mark Martinez and Det. Joaquin Garcia to psychological services and marine patrol, respectively, is the sort of personnel move that happens to cops who don't fall in line like The Wire's Jim McNulty:

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Francisco Alvarado was born in Nicaragua and grew up in Miami, giving him unique insight into the Magic City and all its dark corners. An investigative reporter with a knack for uncovering corruption, Alvarado made his bones as a staff writer at Miami New Times and remains in dogged pursuit of the next juicy story.