STEVE BERTUCELLI, 67Retired cop was an expert on mob crimeBY ANGELA TABLACatablac@MiamiHerald.comFamily and friends remember Steve Bertucelli as a quiet and gentle man, but he often faced tough guys on the front lines of his job.
Bertucelli, a 25-year veteran, ran the the organized crime division of the Metropolitan Dade County Police Department and later took over the same division in Broward.
He died Thursday in his Weston home after having a seizure, said his wife, Penny. He was 67. Bertucelli, who was born in Boston, moved to Florida around 1960, joining what was then the Metropolitan Dade County Police Department. Over the next decade, he worked his way up the ranks, starting the organized crime division in the mid-'70s. He retired as a colonel in 1985.
He attended the University of Miami and Biscayne College, now St. Thomas University, his wife said.
After retiring from the Metro police department, a friend, Nick Navarro, who was then the Broward County sheriff, persuaded him to come out of retirement to take the helm of Broward's organized crime division.
''Steve was the only man I could think of,'' said Navarro, who met Bertucelli when the two worked as Metro Dade police officers. ``He had the ability, the knowledge, the integrity, the honesty . . . I always thought the world of him.''
Bertucelli served as the director from 1985 to January 1993. After retiring a second time, he served as a security consultant, expert witness on organized crime and member of the CrimeStoppers board of directors.
In 1995, he started a financial and legal services business, Bert & Associates, with his son Daniel.
Penny Bertucelli remembered her husband, whom she met in 1960 while she was on vacation in Miami from Chicago, as an ethical man who had ``some sort of special power about him.''
His daughter, Wendy Le Jeune, of Davie, echoed her mother's sentiments.
''He was our rock. We see our father, in our whole family, as the top of our pyramid,'' she said.
Bertucelli is also survived by another son, Paul Bertucelli of Roswell, Ga.; two brothers, George Bertucelli of Tampa and Lawrence Bertucelli of Fort Lauderdale, and five grandchildren.
Visitation will take place Friday from 4 to 8 p.m. at the T.M. Ralph Funeral Home at 371 NW 136th Ave. in Sunrise. A funeral service will be Saturday at 10 a.m. at the First Baptist Church of Weston, 1420 Indian Trace Road.
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