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Miami Beach Police Officer Investigated Over On-The-Job Drinking Claim

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(Source: CBS)

(Source: CBS)

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South Florida Crime

MIAMI (CBS4) – Miami Beach’s police department can’t seem to catch a break.

They are back in the headlines with yet another officer accused of drinking on the job. Some would call it more of the same but the department’s new police chief is not shrugging it off.

The latest scandal hitting the island’s police department surfaced on a blog late Tuesday afternoon.

The author of Random Pixels published a tip about a veteran officer involved in an altercation with a postal inspector last week. The story stated that the cop’s cruiser was being driven by a friend when it nearly hit the inspector.  The officer allegedly got out of the passenger side of the car with a beer in hand.  The officer and the inspector exchanged words and then the postal inspector left.

This story eventually made it to internal affairs that’s now investigating.  Miami Beach’s Police Chief Ray Martinez, on the job officially now less than a week, came out quickly to address the allegations.

“I take all allegations of officer misconduct seriously and will ensure that a full and thorough review of the incident is question is conducted,” said Chief Martinez.

Beach resident Shawn Miller is not surprised by the news.

“It’s par for the course.  It’s unfortunate but that’s Miami Beach,” said Miller.

Miller told CBS4’s David Sutta he see cops drinking all the time.

“The partying thing… it just goes with the territory for these guys.” Miller said.

Last year the party was busted when a officer was fired for drinking and driving his ATV with a bachelorette onboard.  The joyride ended after he collided with tourists.

“It’s frustrating because there is already a lack of respect that there,” Miller said.

The latest investigation, true or not, isn’t helping with public relations.

“These are people that we are paying their salaries.  You are trusting them to uphold the law.  They have to lead by example at the very least,” Beach resident Alan Verdecia said.

The officer in question is still on the streets because at this point there is not enough evidence to support these allegations. Investigators are now looking at a number of items including surveillance video to verify the story.

Martinez released this statement to CBS4 News Tuesday night.

The Miami Beach Police Department Internal Affairs Unit is actively investigating an allegation regarding one of our officers. 

At this point, we have been unable to confirm any of the details of the initial allegation.  We are vigorously pursuing information as it relates to this matter.

I take all allegations of officer misconduct seriously and will ensure that a full and thorough review of the incident in question is conducted.

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