Miami-Dade Police Department begins layoffs

131 officers laid off

MIAMI - Layoffs are underway throughout the ranks of Miami-Dade County employees, and among the first departments to feel the blow was the police department.

The first 131 notices went out to the least senior employees Friday, 118 police officers and 17 corrections officers.

The first sign was an email sent department wide Friday from Director James Loftus.

"In a Department with a history of dark and difficult days, this one is unique," read the email from Loftus. "Never before have so many of our finest left us under these circumstances."

The 131 to go almost all are road patrol, which is considered a core function.  The department plans to keep their positions filled by shifting more senior people back on the streets, leading to demotions.

"I'm very sad, upset, frustrated," said Silvia Nadal, who received a notice. "We don't deserve this. I don't deserve this."

Nadal, who is pregnant and has two children, said her four years of service will end in three weeks.

"After being here four years and giving my best not knowing if I'd come back for my kids, this is not a good payback, not what we deserve," she said.

The police department had to come up with $18 million in budget savings after county commissioner voted not to take it from their paychecks.

The mayor vetoed that decision, and if the commission does not override the veto, some of the jobs may be saved.

The commission will address the issue January 24th.

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