Miami-Dade swears in new police director
MIAMI (WSVN) -- The Miami-Dade Police Department has officially welcomed its new director.
Friday morning, at Mt. Sinai Baptist Church, a ceremony wrapped up welcoming J.D. Patterson to his new job. It was a political and law enforcement who's who at the ceremony. They talked about a new day and new blood at the Miami-Dade Police Department, but also the constant financial concerns that seems to haunt the County.
It was a spirited Friday at the church. The ceremony of the new Miami-Dade Police Department director produced prayer and hope. Mary Russell, a Patterson supporter, said, "He can hear from God for direction and the way to lead this department."
While a new day in Miami-Dade is celebrated, some of the same pesky challenges persist. The primary issue being money. John Rivera, the president of the Police Benevolent Association said, "We're insulted by the fact that our lives mean nothing to them because we need to protect ourselves before we protect others."
The PBA presidents is fighting for officers he represents so they do not see any more of their salaries cut as a budget battle trudges on. "And without the resources necessary, we are in danger," Rivera added.
The county's mayor has asked for five percent of police salaries to go to health care and other concessions, some of those requests the police union does not want to see granted. "We have to be balanced," said Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Jimenez, "and we will be balanced."
Ex-county PD director and mayor Carlos Alvarez came as a spectator but opined as a cop. "I do know that if you don't have the resources, you can't do some of the things to keep the crime rate down," he said. "The crime rate goes up, and then everybody says, 'Where's the police?'"
A new police director will have to tap into his strong faith as a resource, as the county waits for a budget battle to conclude. There is some optimism that that it may happen soon, as the Police Benevolent Association President said he does expect a resolution to come down the pike in the near future.
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