Communication lapses between the police department and the city’s own human relations office have further delayed the hiring process.
Sarnoff wants the city to hire a former DOJ employee as a consultant to help the police department streamline hiring. He said the city will need to hire officers who have already been trained by other departments, as well as increase the number of new recruits it admits into its own police academy.
Miami may also have to consider increasing the salaries for new police officers, Sarnoff said.
Commissioner Francis Suarez said he would be interested in reviewing any plan to alleviate the current bottleneck.
“It would be great to add another 100 officers,” Suarez said. “We just haven’t seen any innovative solutions for solving our current problem.”
Another item expected to spark debate at Thursday’s meeting: a proposal from Sarnoff that would prohibit the Ultra Music Festival from adding a second weekend.
The festival has already received an OK from the Bayfront Park Management Trust to hold its 15th annual event over two weekends in March — and advertised and sold tickets accordingly. But the commission can override the trust.
Sarnoff has said that downtown businesses complain about the electronic music festival when it lasts just one weekend, and cited concerns about the number of concert-goers taking drugs.
“Personally, I think one weekend is enough,” Regalado agree. “We understand that we have to accommodate all festivals, but two weekends with street closures would collapse downtown. Plus, people complain about the kids.”
The festival’s organizers are readying their defense.
“Ultra has met with the property managers in adjacent buildings who have voiced concerns over the event, commissioned traffic engineers to come up with the least disruptive traffic plan possible, met with the Downtown Development Authority, the Miami Parking Authority, the Miami Police Department, the City of Miami Fire Department, Bayside Marketplace and the American Airlines Arena,” they wrote in a letter to the city commission.
Festival organizers have also reached out to PortMiami, Miami Dade College and the Adrienne Arscht Center for the Performing Arts to address their concerns, they said. They met with Regalado Wednesday afternoon.