Layoffs threaten Miami-Dade police force, families

By Ross Palombo, Investigative Reporter, rpalombo@Local10.com
Published On: Jan 07 2012 08:50:45 AM EST
Updated On: Jan 07 2012 09:56:58 PM EST

MIAMI -

She is five months pregnant and has two small children. Now Sylvia Nadal, who has been a police officer for four years,  has another number to worry about.

"I'm number 118," she told Local 10's Ross Palombo.

That is the number of badges who have to be laid-off before her, and the number that is - now - far too low for her to survive.

"I might wake up tomorrow without a job!"

After the county refused to hit officers with a 5% healthcare hike, most officers were applauding.

But, like Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez, Nadal knew that without cuts to healthcare, cuts may now come to 154 officer jobs to make up the expense.

"I will lose my job, health insurance, everything will go to the garbage!" she says.

Now, after months of waiting to hear exactly what would happen, the mayor says he will veto the entire deal, throwing out the contract and throwing in even more uncertainty.

"This is going to affect lots of families and he's not realizing this is unnecessary and the wrong decision."

Her decision to become an officer, she says, has already cost her.

She now pays more for retirement, gets less overtime, and only one paid holiday.

"I don't know what else he wants us to give!" she says speaking of the mayor. She takes home $42,000 a year.  Her trooper husband earns even less.

Now, the costs to this law enforcement family could be higher still.

"This is a betrayal," she says. "We leave every morning thinking our biggest worry is our safety. I never thought I'd ever have to worry about not having a job."

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