Size of Miami's Police Force To Get Attention at City Commission Meeting

Chairman Marc Sarnoff wants 50 officers to be added immediately

By Steve Litz
|  Thursday, Mar 28, 2013  |  Updated 7:44 AM EDT
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Miami has long needed more police officers on the streets.It's an issue that will get attention at Thursday's City Commission meeting.Chairman Marc Sarnoff, who added the matter to the agenda, calls the department one of the lowest staffed in the country.

Miami has long needed more police officers on the streets.It's an issue that will get attention at Thursday's City Commission meeting.Chairman Marc Sarnoff, who added the matter to the agenda, calls the department one of the lowest staffed in the country.

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Miami has long needed more police officers on the streets.

It's an issue that will get attention at Thursday's City Commission meeting.

Chairman Marc Sarnoff, who added the matter to the agenda, calls the department one of the lowest staffed in the country.

Officials offer the just-ended Ultra Music Festival as an example.

"We had a third of the force working off-duty," Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado said. "Had anything happened in the city other than that, it would've been a problem," he added.

VIDEO: Large Crowds, Arrests at Ultra Music Festival

Police cadets are constantly cycling through the city's police college, but that is not a quick process.

Regalado said in some instances it could take as long as two years to get an officer on the street.

"Hopefully the manager has changed some of these rules and we're going to save like four or five months out of the whole process," he said.

The budget crunch over the past few years, coupled with retiring officers, have contributed to the police shortage.

One city official says officers are being moved to high-crime areas in the north end of the city, leaving the south and central regions short on officers.

At Thursday's meeting, Commissioner Sarnoff will propose that 50 officers be added to the force immediately.

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