Loftus discusses MDPD layoffs

118 officers laid off Friday

DORAL, Fla. - The director of the Miami-Dade Police Department says some police services will suffer as the result of 118 officers being laid off.

"We'll be doing less of the things that we like to do, things that the community likes us to do, some crime prevention things, community service things, some property crime things because our commitment will be to suppressing and solving violent crime," said Director James Loftus during a Saturday afternoon news conference.

On Friday, 118 officers and 17 correctional officers were told they are being let go. Those who received pink slips have the least amount of seniority and, for the most part, work road patrol. More experienced officers will be demoted to fill those core positions.

The layoffs come after a controversial vote by Miami-Dade commissioners. They voted against a plan to have police contribute an additional 5 percent to their healthcare costs. The move would have saved the financially strapped county $18 million.

The layoffs take effect in three weeks and the situation may change by that time. The commission meets on January 24th and commissioners may reconsider their vote on the healthcare contribution.

Loftus says laying off the officers was extremely difficult.

"We have situations where it's father and son, husband and wife being laid off, " said Loftus.

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