The Fraternal Order of Police released a video that urges potential police candidates not to work for the City of Miami.
The video, posted on the F.O.P.'s YouTube page says: "Are you looking to advance your career? Do not apply to be a police officer in the city of Miami. There are no educational incentives, no promotional exams and no raises. Work for a department that values their public safety employees."
The 16-second commercial, which begins airing on TV Aug. 28, is the latest move by the police union to try and wrestle better benefits out of the city. Along with the video, union leaders are taking a trailer out to places where the police department is recruiting. Once there, they hand out flyers telling potential candidates that cities like Fort Lauderdale and Miami Beach have higher paying openings.
Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado says "this doesn't deter people from applying." According to the mayor, they have " a list of one thousand applicants that want to be a police officer. Whatever the F.O.P. says, Miami's Finest are still Miami's Finest."
The union president disagrees. Sergeant Javier Ortiz says the mayor's numbers are off.
"In the last certified list of police officers who have applied, about 400 applied and out of that about 10 percent already dropped out," Ortiz said.
The union president says he is now recruiting but for other agencies and expects a massive exodus from the Miami Police department within the next six to eight months.
"They're going to be jumping ship," Ortiz says.
The move comes as the department prepares to lose about 200 officers who are retiring soon. Mayor Regalado admits they are low on numbers and "that's why the chief is trying to recruit people to fill the positions of people that have retired but besides that we're adding 25 new police officers coming the next fiscal year."
Regalado says he is waiting for negotiations to start again with the union and says the city is ready to restore educational benefits. He also admits the union was quote " very smart in having this PR campaign. "
NBC 6 reached out to Miami Police Chief Manuel Orosa but he declined to comment.