Exodus of Officers Expected From Hollywood Police Department, Union President Says

More than 20 officers plan to hand in their resignations within weeks, says Broward County Police Benevolent Association President Jeff Marano

By Sharon Lawson
|  Thursday, May 2, 2013  |  Updated 8:45 PM EDT
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The city of Hollywood may have to brace itself for a mass exodus of its police officers. More than 20 Hollywood Police officers plan to hand in their resignations within weeks, Broward County Police Benevolent Association President Jeff Marano says. He, Stephanie Szeto – a sergeant who quit the force this week – and Hollywood city spokesperson Raelin Storey discussed the issue.

The city of Hollywood may have to brace itself for a mass exodus of its police officers. More than 20 Hollywood Police officers plan to hand in their resignations within weeks, Broward County Police Benevolent Association President Jeff Marano says. He, Stephanie Szeto – a sergeant who quit the force this week – and Hollywood city spokesperson Raelin Storey discussed the issue.

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The city of Hollywood may have to brace itself for a mass exodus of its police officers.

Some of the officers are turning in their badges and heading toward another force, the Broward Sheriff's Office.

According to Jeff Marano, the president of the Broward County Police Benevolent Association, more than 20 Hollywood Police officers plan to hand in their resignations within weeks.

"They're not being competitive with any other agency," Marano said.

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The drastic move stems from Hollywood's controversial pension reform, which included significant pay cuts.

Back in 2011, the city made changes to employee pensions in an effort to help bridge a $38 million budget deficit. Police had to sacrifice at least 12.5 percent of their pay and lose some of their benefits.

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Stephanie Szeto, a former Hollywood Police sergeant, quit the force this week. She since has been hired by the BSO.

"I feel I've been backed into a corner, and I don't really have a choice," said Szeto, who is leaving the force after serving the city for 23 years.

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Concerned about public safety, the City Commission addressed the riff between the union and city. Hollywood city spokesperson Raelin Storey said the city put a plan on the table that would put the police force in the solid middle with its compensation.

"The challenge is the union leadership is not providing the information to the rank and file employees," Storey said.

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