Miami Springs police officers and supporters took to the streets at City Hall with signs last Monday evening, Feb. 10 prior to a regularly scheduled council meeting. Without a union contract for years, officers hoped to garner community support to encourage city leaders to solve the situation.
“We’re standing up for ourselves,” said Sgt. Claire Gurney, who’s also president of FOP Circle Lodge #11. “We feel that we’re not being treated fairly by the council and we want the people of the community to know what’s going on.”
Gurney said police haven’t had a contract for five years and the few benefits officers now have are being whittled away. About 20 officers and their supporters waved signs at cars and got a lot of honks, but Gurney wants citizens to show their support of police at council meetings.
“Our pension contribution is astronomical,” Gurney said. “It’s one of the highest contributions in the country. Not the state, the country. That makes it hard to survive on what we take home.”
According to Gurney, city leaders claim they’ve been negotiating, but officers find that hard to believe because no word of progress has filtered down from the union.
“We will continue doing this so the citizens will realize what’s going on,” said Gurney. “We also want to encourage people of the community to come to council meetings and speak out at open forum. The police would love for people to say how they feel about the police to elected officials.”
Gurney said other methods of getting the word out to citizens are in the works because action by the city has taken so many years without results.
“The main reason people live in Miami Springs and love the city is because we have one of the best police departments in the county with one of the lowest crime rates. We’re so unappreciated by the city, it’s amazing.”