Miami's battle over more policing versus restoring police benefits got a little weird Friday.
The police department issued a news release Friday saying, "Ten Miami police officers will soon hit the streets as 25 newly hired police recruits will embark on a new adventure... on their first day as members of the Police Academy Class 102!"
The release went on to say Chief Manuel Orosa "cordially invites you to witness first-hand the beginning stages of the physical aspect" of the police training at the Police College auditorium Tuesday. It was unclear what physical aspect the release was referring to.
"The first few days are trying, but the will, passion and drive is the underlying factor that will keep this bunch standing strong and the glue to keep it together," the release said, noting training lasts six months.
Fraternal Order of Police president Javier Ortiz responded almost immediately, calling the department's press release statement "vague," and noting it could be eight months before training is done for the young recruits, and that the 25 new hired won't be on board for a year.
Then Ortiz said getting more cops on the street is just a matter of priority.
"On Sept. 26 it will be up to our elected officials to determine the fate of manpower of the Miami Police Department. If for example cutting the hours of a public pool to properly fund the police department is necessary, then they will have to determine what is their priority," Ortiz wrote.
Commissioners have been lobbied from both sides during this month's budget battle, with residents clamoring for more cops and Ortiz arguing to restore pay and benefits for current cops first.
They are scheduled for a second and final budget vote Thursday in which they'll decide if they want to move money around to hire more cops, restore lost benefits, do some of each, or leave the department as it is.