MIAMI – The Miami-Dade County Commission backed a resolution sponsored by Commissioner Jose "Pepe" Diaz that calls for more police officers in the Miami-Dade Police Department, county officials said Tuesday.
The department has experienced a 10 percent decline in the number of officer positions since 2000, according to Miami-Dade County.
Miami-Dade police currently has about 2.4 officers per 1,000 residents in the unincorporated areas it serves, which is below the national average of 2.7 officers per 1,000 residents and below the South Atlantic regional average of 3.1 officers per 1,000, officials said.
The department would have to hire an additional 600 to 800 officers to catch up to the national average, according to county officials.
The resolution backed Tuesday directs the mayor's administration to prepare a report recommending ways to increase the police force and examine the impacts of the reduction in service levels over the last several years.
"Public safety depends on our willingness to adequately staff our police department," Diaz said. "We need to stop shrinking the department and start growing it to keep up with our population."
The department currently has 2,611 sworn personnel, including officers serving PortMiami, Miami International Airport and the municipalities of Palmetto Bay, Miami Lakes and Cutler Bay, which contract for police services with MDPD, officials said.
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