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Miami Leaders Approve Budget To Pay For More Police Officers

MIAMI (CBSMiami) -- After more than five hours of discussion, the Miami city commission passed the city budget unanimously late Thursday night.

Adding police officers dominated the discussion.

Commissioners say the budget that passed provides for 35 new police officers this budget cycle, but the Mayor explained it really amounts to more officers on the street when you add in positions that weren't filled and police who will move onto the streets.

"Ninety-five new officers in less than a year," said Mayor Tomas Regalado, adding,"Also the commission allocated two million dollars so we can start negotiating with the police union to boost morale and get them some money back."

Commission Chair Marc Sarnoff said he was pleased with the final budget. "This budget provided us a significant increase in the police department and current police officers are getting significant pay increase or morale booster so 1100 cops start acting like 1100 cops," he said.

Regalado said he was proud of the budget which reduces the property tax rate. "I think it's a good budget there is concern of taking 1.6 million dollars from the reserve, but I think it's important we send a message to the officers that we care and that we're willing to spend money to boost morale."

Negotiations between the city and the police union begin Friday.


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