City manager reacts to photos of dispatch supervisors allegedly sleeping on the job
Audit to be done of entire department
MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – Miami Beach City Manager Jimmy Morales reacted to pictures of police dispatch supervisors allegedly sleeping on the job, part of a Local 10 investigation Thursday night.
"I never saw these pictures before," Morales said.
Morales said it's unacceptable and changes are on the way in the Miami Beach Police Department.
The person who sent the pictures to Local 10 claimed they were taken over several days in November 2013.
"I didn't know we had pictures like this of people falling asleep," said Morales.
The Public Safety Communications Unit of the Miami Beach Police Department dispatches for the police department and fire department, and handles 170,000 incidents a year.
Sources say dispatchers are often forced to work mandatory overtime.
"This should have been addressed a long time before I got here in April," Morales said. "The police chief knows this is a high priority."
More than one source told Local 10 that an acting communications manager was sent similar pictures, but claimed little was done.
"This issue needs to be fixed and exposed," one source said.
"Candidly, I'm not surprised," Morales said. "When I started this job, one of the early issues we identified is that we had a 911 unit that was understaffed."
Morales said seven new dispatchers will be hired this year and a new communications director will also be hired very soon.
Newly elected Mayor Philip Levine said an audit of the entire department will be done by an outside firm.
"We know there are issues and that is why we called for audit of the entire Police Department," Levine said. "Seeing these things and bringing them to our attention only clarifies it and makes us enthusiastic to make changes as soon as possible."
Miami Police Chief Ray Martinez said he couldn't comment because he had never seen the specific pictures sent to Local 10.
"Unless the department is provided with the pictures and more information, the department will not be commenting on this issue," said Sgt. Bobby Hernandez in an email to Local 10.
Hernandez said the department has counseled employees in the past for resting in an unauthorized area.
The police union said they are satisfied with the response administration has taken on the issue, but the president of the fire union would not comment.
"I apologize that this ever happened and we are working to make sure this doesn't happen again," Morales said.
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