EXCLUSIVE: Mattress cop relieved of duty
Officer hauled mattresses on patrol car
A Miami Dade Police officer has been relieved of duty after using her patrol car as a delivery truck.
VOTE: Should officers be allowed to use their cars as delivery trucks?
PHOTOS: Miami-Dade officer busted for delivering mattresses
32-year veteran Sandra Lyles was just days away from retiring. According to a viewer, Lyles was seen loading mattresses onto the top of her patrol car at the Big Lots store at N.W. 57th Avenue and the Palmetto Expressway.
The outraged viewer took pictures and sent them to Local 10.
Miami-Dade Police say it is a clear violation of their policy and immediately took Lyles' patrol car, badge and gun. The incident is currently under investigation.
Lyles was not on duty at the time.
Miami-Dade Police officers who live in Miami-Dade are allowed to use their patrol cars for personal use in Miami-Dade County to run errands, but this was going too far. The policy increases police presence and if they see a crime can jump into action.
Miami-Dade Police apologized for the incident and say this incident does not reflect the entire department. "It embarrasses not only the officer, but it embarrasses our department," said Miami-Dade Police Commander Nancy Perez. "It is obvious we are not allowed to transport mattresses on the top of our marked police units. There are other items we cannot transport... animals to veterinarians, children to school."
According to personal records, Lyles is not a model officer. In 1990, she was taken off the streets and assigned as a secretary and has been suspended twice for being in "preventable" crashes with her patrol car.
Records show that Lyles has been disciplined 19 times in her career, several involving conduct-related issues.
According to records in December of 2007, Lyles received discipline for conducting private business on the job and in 2003 she was reprimanded for "parking a marked vehicle police vehicle in a location designed for handicapped access."
But it was this latest incident that has caught the eye of the public and Commander Perez, "On behalf of the Miami-Dade Police Department, we apologize to the community for what our officer did and I can assure them that it will be properly handled and it will never happen again."
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