HALLANDALE BEACH (CBSMiami) – The Hallandale Beach City Commission is meeting and discussing how to reallocate resources that were designated for their SWAT team.
Last week, 10 members of the Hallandale Beach SWAT team resigned after Chief Sonia Quinones took a knee with BLM protesters.
Vice Mayor Sabrina Javellana has been openly critical of the Hallandale team and wants to see them disbanded.
“A SWAT team is not something of an essential service that we need to find that we can’t already get from a mutual side agreement from the city of Hollywood or Broward Sheriff’s Office. I think those funds that are part of the SWAT team that is rarely used or used in a productive way can be reallocated to direct community initiatives,” said Javellana.
In their resignation, the officers said they’re also under trained and need more funding to safely do their jobs.
Mayor Joy Cooper expressed her support for the SWAT team and Chief Quinones, adding that residents are for the team.
“They want their SWAT team. There’s a good example of when they were exercised in a condominium and they had to repel down, or if we have an active shooter, our residents feel they pay taxes and they want the best for this community, as do I,” she said.
Javellana said the SWAT team’s resignation letter is more of a stunt.
“I support our Chief Quinones and I think she’s wrongly targeted in this issue. A lot of this is about contract negotiations with our union,” she said.
Chief Quinones tried to meet one-on-one with the 10 officers earlier this week, but she said those discussions went nowhere. She explained she was not kneeling in unison with the vice mayor but rather in unison with protesters.
“Against hatred, against intolerance, against biases. All the biases, all the hatred that we have in this world. These were our community members. I stand in solidarity with our community,” she said.
Mayor Cooper said she supports Quinones and it would be up to the chief to re-staff the SWAT team if the 10 members decide not to come back.