In a contentious budget conference Thursday night, Miami commissioners voted unanimously to put more cops on the streets and giving the acting city manager some much needed leverage to restore some lost benefits to officers, reports the Miami Herald. After four hours of debate, commissioners approved a $524 million spending plan for 2014 that promises 95 additional officers by April, plus $2 million to use during contract negotiations with the city's police union.
The money will go toward restoring salary and benefits cut from officers' pay during lean budget years. The vote by the five-member commission for more cops is good news for homeowners in Coconut Grove, who have asked police to act on an increase in burglaries there. The police force will increase from about 1,110 to more than 1,200. The commissioners were also attempting to satisfy police officers who have seen their compensation drop by more than 20 percent in some cases.