Miami Gardens’ City Council took a step toward addressing police shootings in the city by approving a resolution at its Wednesday meeting to have a state agency investigate any future cases.
The council approved a resolution to have the Florida Department of Law Enforcement independently investigate any fatal shootings involving Miami Gardens police officers within the city.
The agreement was passed on the same day that the family of Lavall Hall, and their attorneys, released patrol car dashcam video of his shooting death by police in February.
Beyond passing that resolution, council members did not directly address the case on the dais and family members and other speakers did not arrive in time for public comment at the brief meeting.
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Following the meeting, City Manager Cameron Benson gave an update on the city’s timetable for hiring a new permanent police chief.
Interim Chief Antonio Brooklen has led the department since late February when the former chief, Stephen Johnson, was fired following his arrest in a Broward Sheriff’s Office prostitution sting.
Benson said the city plans to begin advertising the position April 13 and he plans to accept applicants from across the country for 30 days.
“My goal would be to target some time midsummer to have somebody on board,” Benson said.
The city isn’t planning to hire an outside firm or have direct assistance from the Florida Sheriffs Association, but Benson said they hope to establish a panel to narrow down the applicant pool.
Also at the meeting, the City Council approved a resolution to officially name its circulator-transit system the “Miami Gardens Express.” The council approved a contract in February to bring the trolley buses to the city at an annual cost of $451,776.
The contract states that two trolleys have to be built and delivered to the city within six months and then the system will expand and add more buses.
The plan calls for two east-west routes that would connect with county buses, and the transportation study estimates an expected ridership ranging from 16,700 to 48,600 boardings per year.
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