Many observers say that drastic public safety budget cuts at the Miami and Miami-Dade County Police Departments have led to the recent spike in recent shootings, where at least 18 people have been shot recently in 21 drive-bys. One of the victims was a 14-year-old boy.
County Commissioner Audrey Edmonson called for a “State of Emergency” meeting, but others, including officials at the Dade County PBA, are saying what the Department needs is to have their funding restored, not another meeting.
A recent report on Political Cortadito notes that what these elected county leaders ought to do is make the police department whole and fund public safety properly—that it is impossible to fight crime with emergency meetings and feel-good rallies at the same time officers and specialized units are getting cut.
The blog post reads: “It doesn’t take a genius to conclude that these things would not be happening—or happening as often—if the our esteemed Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos ‘Cry Wolf’ Gimenez, who has money for his millionaire buddies, had not slashed and burned the police department, cutting specialized units like gang officers to save dollars he could later give to friendly developers who throw him fundraisers to keep him in office. It’s a vicious cycle.”
“County people like to point out that this is in the city of Miami,” said Dade County PBA President John Rivera. “But what they fail to mention is that county cops work all over the county, cross jurisdictional with city departments. Cutting the county gang unit has, without a doubt, put a strain on the Miami Police Department. All of our robbery intervention and most of our gang officers work in the city of Miami—the criminals don’t care about jurisdiction.”
Rivera and his members have been critical of the County’s move to make a $1 million investment in body cameras at the same time the police radio system is not working properly.