Miami Officers Protest, Demand Improved Benefits

By NBC South Florida
|  Thursday, Mar 27, 2014  |  Updated 10:09 PM EDT
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City of Miami police protested outside Miami City Hall over benefits. Julia Bagg reports.

City of Miami police protested outside Miami City Hall over benefits. Julia Bagg reports.

Dozens of police officers gathered outside Miami City Hall in Coconut Grove with placards and t-shirts reading “restore Miami Police benefits.”

But the demonstrators were not alone.

The Miami Police Union President faced off with the mayor over the gun ban on officers who demonstrate inside commission chambers.

"What type of message are we sending to our community when we're not allowed to carry guns in your house, city hall, but you tell the residents to trust us,” said Miami’s Police Union President, Javier Ortiz.

Both sides did agree that the bigger deal is police union contracts.

“We offer benefits and your troops rejected it,” said the Mayor of Miami, Tomas Regalado.

Officers say the cuts are dramatic, especially in vacation time, retiree health care, and pitiful raises. They also point out that city holds $75 million in reserve funds.

“[If we don’t preserve the reserve], you'll be like Detroit,” the mayor said.

After some heated moments, both chiefs decided to arrange a meeting to discuss these issues.
"When do you want to sit down at the table?" asked Regalado.

"Let's sit down tomorrow,” replied Ortiz.

"Next week?" said Regalado.

"Sure,” agreed Ortiz.

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