BISCAYNE PARK, Fla. (WSVN) — The Biscayne Park Police Department is working towards a fresh start after its reputation was smeared by lies and cover ups.

Raimundo Atesiano, the department’s former police chief, was sentenced in 2018 to serve three years in prison on a conspiracy to frame minorities for crimes they had not committed.

During a community roundtable, Wednesday, new Police Chief Luis Cabrera said he is committed to righting those wrongs.

“We’re paying a very difficult price right now. The image of the village has been tarnished,” said Cabrera.

The scandal started back in 2011 when Atesiano was named “Officer of the Year” in part for making 2,000 traffic stops and 305 arrests in a city with approximately 3,000 residents.

“They weren’t truthful with the reporting of the crimes and violating individual’s civil rights,” said Cabrera.

Atesiano and three of his subordinates continued to conspire and mostly pinned new crimes on old criminals to avoid suspicion and juiced the statistics, according to prosecutors.

“When I looked at it, it’s bone-chilling because if you can imagine that somebody can just fabricate stuff on you and get prosecuted, it’s wrong,” said Miami-Dade County Public Defender Carlos Martinez.

In 2013, there were 808 arrests in Biscayne Park, which is almost a third of the city’s entire population, under the corruption of Atesiano.

After the disgraced police chief’s scheme crumbled, arrests plummeted to fewer than 100 per year.

At Wednesday’s discussion, the department’s new leader promised to protect citizens through honest police work.

“We’ve changed policies and procedures,” said Cabrera. “We’ve implemented checks and balances and all the things that are needed to show we have a professional police department that’s delivering superior services but doing it the right way.”

Some of the people Atesiano framed have since faced stiffer penalties for crimes they never committed.

“The impact has been pretty widespread,” said Martinez.

The public defender’s office is now working to throw out those wrongful convictions.

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