BAL HARBOUR, Fla. – For the second time in just over a year, Bal Harbour has lost a police chief to tragedy.
Cancer ended Miguel De La Rosa’s life Saturday at age 49, just four months after he was appointed as the village police chief, reported Miami Herald. That gave De La Rosa the job he had been doing on an interim basis since August 2016, after then-Chief Mark Overton suffered a heart attack in July 2016. Overton never recovered and died in November 2016.
“Broken-hearted to say good by to my twin, best friend, and hero. No words can ever do justice for how much I love you,” twin brother and Coral Gables Fire Department Chief Marcos De La Rosa tweeted on Sunday. “Miss You already. I got you!”
Broken-hearted to say good by to my twin, best friend, and hero. No words can ever do justice for how much I love you. Miss You already. I got you! pic.twitter.com/7iCenBpGZ1
— Marcos De La Rosa (@marcosadelarosa) January 28, 2018
As a result of the chief’s untimely death, Capt. Raleigh Flowers will oversee police operations in the village of 8,000, nestled along the Atlantic Ocean about two miles north of Miami Beach.
“We are incredibly and deeply saddened by the loss of such a dedicated public servant who spent his life protecting others,” Mayor Gabriel Groisman said in a statement.
Moreover, he had a “passion for public safety,” Village Manager Jorge Gonzalez said.
As chief of the high-end village, best known for its condo towers and luxury shopping mall, De La Rosa continued the reconstruction of community trust that Overton began in 2014.
According to the paper, the reforms of Overton and De La Rosa came on the heels of the Miami Herald’s License to Launder series, which drew a federal grand jury’s attention. Bal Harbour cops, working undercover stings of drug dealers, lived lavishly — spending on hotels, airfare, dinners and equipment —while laundering drug money without making a single arrest.
Bal Harbour’s announcement of De La Rosa’s death noted: “In speaking of ‘transformational’ policing, De La Rosa said communities respond to the genuine character and spirit of police officers. He was fond of quoting legendary British police innovator Robert Peel, who said ‘the police are the public, and the public are the police.’”
It is with a heavy heart we announce the untimely passing of our beloved Police Chief Miguel De La Rosa. Chief De La Rosa passed yesterday, after a brief struggle with cancer. He was a remarkable leader and human being. Arrangements to memorialize his legacy are forthcoming. pic.twitter.com/5ElZP5Egt4
— Bal Harbour Police (@balharbourpd) January 28, 2018
Chief De La Rosa came to Bal Harbour from Key Biscayne after starting his 29-year law enforcement career by rising to major in the Hialeah Police Department.
He was born in Miami and graduated from Florida International University and Monsignor Edward Pace High School.