Miami’s acting city manager said Tuesday he’s identified $2.44 million in funding that would allow the city to hire 10 new police officers, the Miami Herald reported.
Daniel Alfonso, who is also Miami’s chief financial officer, said he would recommend that city commissioners spend that amount for new officers.
He also said that the city should be able to avoid service cuts or layoffs in its 2014 budget – just before the final budget hearing is held Thursday, the Herald reported.
The additional money would come from several sources, including $500,000 from a risk management insurance pool for accidents and $470,000 from a rainy day fund that includes money the city was paid by Ultra Music Festival organizers and “Burn Notice,” according to the Herald.
At a hearing Sept. 12 commissioners gave their first approval to Mayor Tomas Regalado’s proposed $523 million budget, which called for hiring 25 new police officers and filling 40 vacancies. They also decided that officers will get a 3 percent bonus next fiscal year.
But many community groups, including residents from Coconut Grove, are asking that more money be found to put officers on the streets.
At the hearing, officers and Fraternal Order of Police President Sgt. Javier Ortiz made the case for an extra $10 million for officers. Ortiz said that would allow the department to make its salaries competitive. The union and city government are also battling over benefits officers have lost in recent years.
Ortiz said that benefits could be restored if Alfonso found $6.5 million in funding, the Herald noted.
Beyond the $2.44 million in new funding, Alfonso also said Tuesday that’s found an additional $6.5 million that the city could spend on its police, though he’s not recommending that option because it would mean service and staff cuts, the Herald reported.
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