Miami Police Officers Have Simply Had Enough!!

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Florida Public Employee


 Fraternal Order of Police FLORIDA STATE LODGE 

 F O R I M M E D I A T E R E L E A S E 

September 13, 2013

Op-Ed Opinion


Miami Police officers have simply had enough!! In a bold move, hundreds of Miami Police Officers represented by the Fraternal Order of Police, Miami Lodge 20, backed up by concerned citizen groups flooded the City Commission chambers on Thursday to demand recognition for the job they perform every day for Miami with the restoration of their pay and benefits that have been continually eroded over several years now.

In October 2010, The City of Miami declared a “financial urgency” and imposed unfair salary, pension and health care benefit cuts on those who can least afford them. Miami Police Officers have seen their pay and benefits consistently reduced, the work force lowered to the point that some neighborhoods are dangerously understaffed by patrol units. Training, equipment and recruitment have been reduced. Miami Police Officers are looking elsewhere for employment and leaving their department for better pay. The Fraternal Order of Police Miami Lodge 20 President Javier Ortiz is encouraging applicants to look somewhere else for police work. Miami Police salaries are well below the surrounding agencies. Miami officers deserve pay parity.

Miami officers have held rallies, they have demonstrated, they have gone to court, they have bargained and accepted less, they have begged and done everything they can to bring attention to the erosion of their benefits and pay, all the while continuing to provide the finest police service to their community possible. They do more with less, they respond to an ever increasing demand for police service with fewer officers. Frankly, they are exhausted, fed up and frustrated. They are tired of trying to explain to their families why others make more and why they stay with a city that under appreciates the service and protection they provide.

Your police officers deserve to be treated fairly and to be compensated justly for their service. Over the years, thirty six (36) Miami Police Officers have given their last true measure of sacrifice to the citizens of Miami. Few professionals leave their families as they begin their next shift not knowing if the danger they face at work may take their very lives. Miami Police Officers serve with pride and honor and deserve better from the City.

The number one priority of any government is the protection of the citizens it serves. If you think law enforcement is expensive, just imagine a city without it! The government of the City of Miami has unfairly targeted the benefits of those who have sworn to protect and serve the public. The Mayor once told the officers that “even having a job now is a blessing.” The City of Detroit now has an average response time of 58 minutes, even on emergency calls.

Thursday evening the frustration reached the boiling point as officers and citizens alike came forward before the City Commission packing the room, asking the Commission to find resources in the budget to fix the problem. To their credit, the Commissioners have finally responded to the officers and employees of the City of Miami with a 3% bonus and a 3% increase for the police. This is a good start and we thank them. There is much more to be done.

The Florida Fraternal Order of Police representing over 20,000 law enforcement officers across the state join our brothers and sisters in Miami with a strong message to Mayor Regalado and the City Commissioners to keep their promise to the officers and restore the salaries and benefits they agreed to by contract. Stop trying to balance the budget on the backs of the very ones who protect the city. The officers demand it and more importantly, the citizens of Miami deserve it.

The Fraternal Order of Police is the largest professional police organization in the nation with over 328,000 members.

James W. Preston

James W. Preston, President

Florida State Lodge

Fraternal Order of Police

242 Office Plaza, Tallahassee, Florida 32301 • PO Box 1349, Tallahassee, Florida 32302-1349 Tele: 850-656-9881 • Toll Free: 800-873-FOP1 • Fax: 800-873-3670 • Web: Labor Council Committee: 888-485-0351 


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