MIAMI, Jan. 14 (UPI) -- More than 100 police officers are among the Miami-Dade employees targeted for layoffs, officials say.
Mayor Carlos Gimenez said Friday night that a total of 118 officers are being laid off and 41 demoted, WTVJ-TV reported. John Rivera, president of the Police Benevolent Association chapter, put the number of layoffs at 98, with eight lieutenants and 33 sergeants moved down a grade.
The layoff notices, which went out Friday, are part of a lengthy battle between Gimenez and the county commission. Gimenez vetoed a commission resolution passed Wednesday that blocked him from requiring police union members to pay 5 percent more toward their health costs.
Gimenez said he was sending out the layoff notices in case his veto is overridden.
The fight began last year when the mayor submitted a budget that demanded concessions from city employees to pay for a cut in property taxes.
While the exact number of layoffs is still in doubt, officials say there is no doubt that scores of employees, including police officers, will eventually lose their jobs.
"In a department with a history of dark and difficult days, this one is unique," Miami-Dade Police Director Jim Loftus said in an e-mail to employees. "Never before have so many of our finest left us under these circumstances. To everyone impacted by this layoff, my heart goes out to you. My family and I will keep you in our prayers."