MIAMI (CBSMiami) – More than a dozen new Miami police officers will soon be hitting the streets.
The 13 police officers and one Department of Corrections officer were sworn in Monday at the City of Miami Police College.READ MORE: Monkeypox Case In Broward County Under Investigation
“I feel great,” said Brian Alonso. “I’m ready to serve the community and the people in the city. We’re ready to patrol, we’ve received some of the best training in the nation, we’re ready for this.”
The new officers say the are excited to serve the community, but are well aware that the ceremony didn’t come without some controversy.
“The FOP is under contract negotiations right now so they’re trying to scare the city into some type of negotiations. They think it’s favorable to them,” said Miami Police Chief Manuel Orosa.
The Miami Fraternal Order of Police has harshly criticized the department. They say it’s under staffed, they’re officers are under paid and under appreciated as the result of budget cuts. The FOP even launched an ad campaign urging potential candidates not to apply to the department.READ MORE: 5-Year-Old Boy Airlifted After Being Bitten By Family Dog
Last month the city’s commissioners passed a budget that provides for 35 new police officers in this fiscal year.
Mayor Tomás Regalado explained it really amounted to more officers on the street when you add in positions that weren’t filled and police who will move onto the streets.
Also last month, the city began training 25 new recruits. At the time, FOP President Sgt. Javier Ortiz said he believed that some of them wouldn’t be with the city long after they graduated.
“As a matter of fact, some of the people that were recently hired today, when I was walking out came up to me and told me they saw the commercials and had applied to neighboring departments,” said Ortiz.
The FOP estimated that the department will lose approximately 200 officers in the next 36 months due to retirement and officers going to other police departments which offer better pay and benefits.MORE NEWS: Trainer's Room Busy As Heat, Celtics Prepare For Game 4
The department is currently recruiting and Chief Orosa said they hope to hire another 46 officers by the end of the year.