Exclusive: Miami-Dade Set To Lay Off Cops

MIAMI (CBS4) – For the first time in its 177 year history, the Miami-Dade Police Department will begin laying off sworn officers on November 1.

Mayor Carlos Gimenez told CBS4 I-Team investigator Jim DeFede that in the coming days approximately 90 layoff notices will be sent to officers informing them they will be cut from the department at the end of the month.

And unless an agreement between the police union and the county can be reached that will provide more than $65 million in police union concessions; a second round of layoffs will occur in mid-December.

In addition to the layoffs, Gimenez also said dozens of officers will be demoted to a lower rank as part of the county’s cost saving plan.

Gimenez, however, said he did not believe the cuts would affect the number of officers patrolling the streets.

“This is not about taking out the number of folks we have on the street right now,” Gimenez told DeFede. “There may be some units, specialty units that may not be in service or may not have as many people, but in terms of the officer on the street they are not to be effected.”

Police union president John Rivera, however, said these cuts will indeed endanger the public.

“It’s getting to the point where the citizens are going to have to fend for themselves for a while until the cops can get to them,” Rivera said.

Rivera said it wasn’t long ago that the department had more than 3,500 officers. Through retirements and attrition it is now down to less than 2,900. The proposed layoffs are only going to make matters worse.

“We are way, way down already,” Rivera said. “Ninety is going to be a big, big blow to this department. We are getting to some really dangerous levels.”

Gimenez disagreed.

“We’re not going to get to the point though in layoffs where we start to affect service at the street level,” he said. “Once we get to that, we will stop the layoffs and then we are going to have to get greater concessions from the employees in order to make up the difference.”

Negotiations between the county and the police union have become increasingly contentious. A recent bargaining session between the two sides degenerated into a shouting match, with the lead negotiator the county and the lead negotiator for the police screaming back and forth at each other to “shut up!”

The man caught in the middle is Miami-Dade Police Director James Loftus, who acknowledged “the heart and soul of our function is people pick up a telephone, they call, and cops come.”

He said he will do everything possible to make sure response times are not affected by re-assigning officers to street patrol.

“That’s the idea, get their as quickly as we always do and maintain the service,” he said. But in return, other units may be eliminated or stripped bare, including crime prevention details.

“Yeah, of course it’s a tough time,” Loftus said. “It’s a tough time for everybody. I’m not aware of a layoff since 1834, so yeah this is a tough and very difficult time for everybody. And as I understand it, they would be the first layoffs in the department’s history.”

More from Jim DeFede
Comments

One Comment

  1. eric says:

    this is happening all across the country. police and fire departments have held the publc hostage for far too long insisting on garaunteed anual salary and benefit raises where wages and benefits were already far above the median. the reality that this is bankrupting comunities is now in the forefront of all municipal budget debates. police and fire unios had better get on board with the pay and benefit reductions or they will soon see even more cuts to staffing. don’t go bashing me about being a cop or firefighter hater either… i was a firefighter myself. don’t go saying it’s a dangeros job where they put their lives on the line every day… well no s@#t you idiots!!! if you’re not willing to accept that’s part of the job then your in the wrong profession.

    1. Eric doesn't get it says:

      Eric…

      If this were a question of salaries being too high or benefits too good, I might agree. The truth is this Mayor did make a political choice to reduce taxes.

      Miami-Dade Police Officers are NOT the highest paid officers in the County, they are near the bottom of the comparative pay scale. The benefits they enjoy at the end of their career are unused sick days, holidays and vacation time they DEFERRED to the BENEFIT of the County, and at the EXPENSE of their own families.

      The County was dealing with a small financial crisis and employees (for the second time) were prepared to make a shared sacrifice…

      ..But then the Mayor decided to roll back taxes. Union concessions or not, this Mayor has an agenda. He brings in his own people at higher salaries than those that previously occupied those positions.

      Its not about tough economics… it is bad politics!

      1. Paul B. Abbott says:

        MDPD is near the bottom of what comparative pay scale? Surely you jest or spreading false information on purpose. Many municipalities and the Highway Patrol make considerable less than MDPD officers. Stop spreading erroneous information!

    2. Unbelieveable says:

      You WERE a firefighter! Obviously you don’t recall what it took to acquire that position and maintain it. Acceptance of duties isn’t in question, for those who are uneducated, it’s about realizing that OUR jobs, pensions and wages gained for those positions need not be the target simply because we have such a high risk position! How quickly you forgot!

    3. DODGE CITY COMING says:

      THANK GOD YOUR NOT A FIREMAN ANYMORE. CAN SEE WHY YOUR NOT .

    4. K.A.ECKELS says:

      You whinning crying little morons. You critize the police for everything they do, but when you fight with your spouse or neighbor, a prowler is in your backyard or your house has been “robbed”. You scream for the police to and usually we do not come fast enough for you. We give up holidays, weekends, birthdays, anniversaries etc. to work and our families lose out. Most police officers like their job and really want to make your neighborhood a better place to live. YOU WOULD’T WALK DOWN A DARK ALLEY BY YOURSELF AT 3 AM FOR A MILLON BUCKS, COPS DO IT BY THEMSELVES FOR A LOT LESS. You dont even want to check out the noise in your own back yard at midnight, so you big brave 6 foot tall man call the police and a small female officer checks the yard for you. Welcome to realty. As usual with Dade county, not only the police and fire men are getting cut but so are clerks, secretaries and other non high risk employees. HIGH RISK people, this means we do what you wont. And as for take home police cars, Officers that take home cars last 5 years, where as when they didnot take home cars and they went 24 hours a day lasted only 1-2 years. Trust me on this they may be in flip flops (not professional) but they are armed, they will not be in that car without a gun on them. Dept. regulations and personal safety. Dade county politics have always been top heavy, they pay themselves and their cronies overly high salaries. All of the mayors and commissioners have done this and our citizens just cover their heads and ignore it as usual THIS IS DADE COUNTY AT ITS BEST

    5. Jonathan E. Bernal says:

      I get what you’re saying, but take a moment to look at the whole situation. The County is in the middle of building a stadium for the Marlins (not a single part of it funded by the team itself) estimated @ $515 million ($297 million directly from county taxes) and preparing to build the Port of Miami Tunnel estimated at $607 million. This doesn’t include any of the other expenses, such as public schools, road repairs, etc. And still, there is still the cost for the recall election that put Carlos Gimenez as the Mayor of Miami-Dade, estimated between $4 and $5 million. The man who started the process of petitioning to remove the old mayor was Norman Braman, the former owner of the Philadelphia Eagles. The only connection with South Florida that he has is that he owns some car dealerships down here. He wasn’t able to win his fight against the Florida Marlins. So what does he do? He “financially supports” the recall of the last mayor because his property taxes were going to go up. (Here is the owner of a professional football team and he is complaining about too many taxes. In 1999, he fought a one-cent tax increase that would have helped funding for mass transit. This would have helped those who don’t own a car and rely on public transportation. But, because it would have affected automobile sales, he didn’t like it, and got it overturned. I bet if someone stole a car from one of his dealerships, he would want the police department to drop everything they are doing and show up at the snap of his fingers. He wants all the services without any of the taxes and funding. You can’t have your cake and eat it too.) Now take a look at the whole picture. Just a few weeks ago, Mayor Carlos Gimenez just hired his new “top advisors” with their salaries totaling more than $1 million. The Police Department employees aren’t upset about the cuts themselves (they have no problem taking 11 furlough days like the other county departments who have already come to agreements with the mayor); they are upset with the way Mayor Carlos Gimenez is running things. I don’t care who you are; you don’t hire your own personal advisors on more than a one million dollar salary and turn right back around and ask for cuts in all the other departments. Second, if the county is in such dire need of money that they are cutting the county’s protecting forces, why not ask the Florida Marlins to start covering some of the costs for THEIR OWN STADIUM, instead of MAKING THE TAXPAYERS COVER IT. All of Miami-Dade’s police officers are sworn protectors of the public good (in their county) and I have no doubt that they will have no problem responding to a crime to help you or anyone else, even if you or that person is the very one who wants to strip them of their much needed pay and benefits. Before you just give an opinion without thinking it through, try to see what would happen if what you said was true. It might not affect you (it might indirectly and you might not even know), but try to see how it would affect others.

  2. DOMINGO says:

    IF THE COUNTY LIKES TO SAVE MONEY THEY SHOULD HAVE ALL THE COPS DRIVE THERE PERSONAL CARS TO WORK LIKE THEY USE TO DO BACK IN THE 1980 LOTS OF OFFICERS ARE WORKING IN DADE COUNTY BUT LIVE IN BROWERD COUNTY AND LOTS OF THEM I SEE USING THE POLICE CAR TO BE AT WALMART ON THERE PERSONAL TIME SHOPING AND USING COUNTY CARS TO DO THERE SHOPPING AND THERE NOT IN UNIFORM THEY HAVE ON SHORTS AND FLIP FLOP ,AND I THINK THATS IS A WASTE OF FUEL AND MISS USE OF COUNTY PROPERTY LET THEM USE THERE PERSONAL CARS TO GET TO WORK AND BACK HOME AND WILL SEE HOW MUCH MONEY THE COUNTY WILL SAVE ON FUEL BUT NOBODY SEE THAT THEY SAY THAT THE COPS ARE ON DUTY 24 HRS PER DAY BUT THERE NOT IN UNIFORM AND DONT HAVE A GUN WHEN SHOPPING AT WLMART OR PUBLIX LIKE I SAY MAYBE THEY NEED TO LOOK INTO THESE .

  3. Waiting On My Pink Slip says:

    I hope this Mayor and all of those who voted for him are happy, that the few dollars that you will save on your taxes are worth throwing good officers and their family on the street. There are officer like me with young children who will no longer be able to afford to feed the family and pay a mortgage. I hope all of you citizens and the Mayor enjoy your new Marlins Stadium and the $1 Billion tunnel under Government Cut while I can’t keep a roof over my family’s head.

    1. justsaying says:

      Just go look for another job like the rest of us that have been laid off. You are not the first or the last one that this happens to.You will be O.K.

      1. Sayingwhat? says:

        Actually he/she would be the first. I thought Miami-Dade has never laid off an officer in it’s 177 years of existence??

  4. alabamajack says:

    These layoffs are going to affect Dunkin’ Donuts employees as well.

    1. Officers Wife says:

      It’s the only place open all night where they can eat, while they are up all night protecting ignorant people like you.

  5. Ashley Young says:

    Less cops, less tickets. I’m happy with it.

    1. IQ tests should be required to post says:

      Real smart remark. What are you 2. Slow down and you wouldn’t get a ticket.

  6. Bad Politics says:

    And by the way… this is NOT because of a financial crisis. It is because of Bad Politics The Mayor CHOSE to roll back taxes at the expense of Public Safety, Police, and the community… all who will surely suffer

  7. REALLY? says:

    The Mayor does not have the political will to close 13 libraries with no business or “foot traffic,” but he will lay off Police Officers that take over 6 months to hire, attend a 6 month Police Academy and have to train in the field for 6 months.

    Folks, that is a huge investment in both time and money.

    Let’s lay off Police Officers that will find other law enforcement jobs and who will never come back to this community. When the crime rate skyrockets, it will take 18 months plus training costs to start again.

    Nice Job. Great Politics!

  8. john says:

    real nice,right before the holidays.great move mayor,you got my vote…..NOT!!!!!!

  9. Disgusted says:

    So many people complain about public sector benefits that the private sector does not enjoy….

    When is the last time you missed Christmas morning with your kids?

    When did you miss a holiday meal with your family?

    When the hurricanes struck, you were at home protecting your family. Mine were cowering and crying in a corner as the roof blew off the house and I was at work.

    When you call in sick to be with your family – your employer covers your shift through overtime. When I don’t call in sick and defer those sick days to be paid at the end of a looong career (if I make it out alive) I become the “bad guy” with the “golden parachute.”

    This Community will NEVER be the same!

  10. Officers Wife says:

    I can’t beleive this Mayor would do this to families like ours, and the citizens are just going to stand by and let this happen. There was a huge uprising by citizens because they were going to cut a fire boat in the port, which they only time they would need was if a cruise ship was on fire. Yet we are going to loose police officers on the street, and people can make jokes about Dunkin Donuts. I have had to watch the news of officer invl

    1. Officers Wife says:

      Involved shootings and trying to call my husband to make sure he is ok. Now I get to sit back and watch him loose his job because nobody cares about guys like him who spend all night out answering dangerous calls.

  11. What the...? says:

    Hey, am I missing something?… Miami-Dade County employs almost 30,000 employees. The Police are the first ones to be layed off?

    How does that work? I get the fact that the County may be bloated with too many employees and has room to be a little more efficient… but the Police are the first to go?

    Sounds like the Mayor has a grudge against the Police. And I agree with “Really?’ who made some great comments earlier…

    If you layoff non-skilled workers, their positions are certainly more easy to fill or re-hire.

    This Mayor of ours is not making some very wise choices….

    1. Paul B. Abbott says:

      You must not read the papers or the internet because layoffs have already started in other county departments and the Police are not the first to have layoffs.

      This mayor was put into power by the same folks who booted that slimy retired cop Mayor out of office along with the witch from District 13 for giving the cops a 13% raise last year at a time when people are losing their jobs, their homes, their insurance and everything else. That was the greed and corruption that broke the backs of this county’s taxpayers.

      More power to the Mayor!

      1. Jonathan E. Bernal says:

        Look at who’s calling the kettle black. The previous mayor din’t give the poilce department a 13% pay increase! What he did was two things: he put taxes raises in place (which Mayor Carlos Gimenez rolled back) and he gave the police department a 3% increase in pay to help ease some of the pay cuts and benfits that he had cut they year before that.

  12. redfinned says:

    All because the mayor wants to give me a tax rebate of less that $100 to try and make himself look like a hero to the public. He can shove it up his ass.

  13. redfinned says:

    Actually I think I remember this clown we call a mayor saying on tv that he “has a good business sense” really where?

  14. Eric doesn't understand says:

    Eric…

    I would agree with you if Miami-Dade Police Officers salaries and benefits were at the high end of the scale. They are not. They are on the lower end compared with other police departments in the County.

    Those great benefits? Those are DEFERRED benefits that were of value to the County at the time. SIck days NOT used. Vacation time NOT used. Holidays spent protecting the community while you were at home with your family.

    County employees are told to SAVE these days and sell them back at the end of their loooong career… if they make it.

    The truth is the County had a small budget gap. The Mayor chose to double it.

    Don’t make the County employees who show up for work everyday, work every holiday and work overtime so the County doesn’t have to hire extra officers, out to be the bad guys.

    The way bargaining works is… the County AND the employees agree to terms of employment. Usually a balance is struck.

    Don’t roll back taxes in a bad economy to make yourself look good and then blame the police!

  15. Outraged says:

    I can’t believe this Mayor, he is going to lay off 90 employees with families a few days before Thanksgiving, and possibly another 100 right before Christmas unless they agree to massive losses in pay. Even if they agree to the demands, those 90 officers will have to suffer though the holidays. And for those who think, oh they can find another job; it takes on average 6 months to 1 year for a department to process an applicant. I hope these voters and tax payers all remember this when it is time to give this guy the boot. How is this economy supposed to be fixed when you have someone like this who is going to lay off police officer who own homes. Umm when the officers have no pay and they have their home foreclosed on I guess that loss in taxes means we should lay off more police. We have a multi-million dollar Marlins Stadium at the expenses of officers and their families. And not to mention this new Mayor wants to put in red-light cameras at the cost of millions of dollars, while guess who is the lobbyist for the red-light camera company, Carlos Gimenez Jr. (read the herald from a few days ago). The millions we also spent to put this poor excuse for a human being in office could have been used to save the families of these officers that are going to be destroyed.

  16. Call to Commissioners says:

    Where is the Commission?

    13 County Commissioners make up County government in addition to the Mayor.

    Please don’t pretend to hide behind the “Strong Mayor” desigation.

    Are you going to stand behind this grandstanding Mayor in support of these layoffs?

    We are waiting for your leadership and looking for your response.

    YOUR Commission Districts will be affected. How will you respond?

  17. Cantsayorgetfired says:

    More unemployment, more unpaid mortgages, more lost homes, less collected taxes, but new stadium, higher salaries for inner circle members. Doesn’t matter what the job is. Its wrong for many reasons. Still more waste. I heard the city was fiscally sound. Where’s the money.? My money? This is the same b.s. as teachers mking all this money iwith merit pay,, same no. Of ops on the road, happy teachers with more more. These people think were are stupid. Maybe, we vote that way.

  18. feed up says:

    It’s unbelievable that they can take money from everywhere except from themselves. The mayor hired 4 assistance at an incredible yearly rate, not to mention hiring consultants to figure out a way to save money. Well Mr. Mayor that’s your job. What the hell are you getting paid for? Clean house and you and your staff take a pay cut.

    1. Paul B. Abbott says:

      It’s unbelievable that you don’t know that Mayor Gimenez is taking a seriously reduced salary from what our retired cop slimy Mayor Alvarez ripped us off for. And you want him to take a cut after already taking a huge cut when he was sworn in.

      It is also unbelievable that you don’t know that our Mayor seriously reduced the total personnel costs of the Mayor’s Office by eliminating numerous personnel that the Alvarez administration built an expensive empire out of?

      Do some reading in the future before making a fool out of yourself.

  19. DODGE CITY IS COMMING says:

    CRIME IS GOING UP WITH THE OFFICERS THAT ARE ON THE ROAD NOW . START SLEEPING WITH ONE EYE OPEN. WE HAVE FORGOTTEN THE ONE’S WHO HAVE GIVEN THERE LIFES FOR THIS COUNTY AND THE ONE’S OUT THERE EVERY DAY NOT KNOWING IF THEY WILL SEE THERE FAMILIES AGAIN WHEN THEY WALK OUT THE DOOR . THESE GUYS AND GIRLS ARE WORTH A 100 TIMES WHAT THEY GET. TO THE MAYOR THEY ARE ONLY A NUMBER. I HOPE ALL OF DADE COUNTY HAS A GOOD TIME SPENDING THE 50 OR 100 DOLLARS THEY SAVE ON TAXES. MYSELF I RATHER FEEL SAFE IN MY HOUSE. . GOOD LUCK TO ALL THE OFFICERS LOOSING THERE JOBS . HOPE YOU FIND A COUNTY OR TOWN THAT CARES ABOUT THERE HERO’S AND KNOW WHAT ITS LKE TO BE SAFE. I FOR ONE WILL NEVER STEP FOOT IN THAT NEW STADIUM OR ANYONE IN MY FAMILY FOR YOU ALL. THANKS YOU TO ALL OF YOU.

  20. Manny says:

    God only knows that I have no lost love for cops, but it would be unfair to judge every officer for what a couple of clowns in the department did. This new mayor has his own agenda and it is not right that he accomplishes it by laying-off dedicated police officers many of whom lay it all on the line on a daily basis to protect the community. That there are a few fat cows in the department, everyone knows that but then again you have that everywhere. I hope a solution can be found that stops the axe from falling on the neckes of so many Dade County cops. Good luck and as hard as it appears it is not the end of the world.

  21. blake says:

    to the comment by “alabamajack” i guess you were trying to be funny. but if you weren’t why dont you give us your address,put on a pot of coffee and we’ll all come by about 4 am.

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