Miami-Dade County’s local government would lose its police department to a newly elected sheriff under a bill that passed the Florida Legislature on Monday despite objections by Mayor Daniella Levine Cava.
Backed by the Florida Sheriffs Association, the legislation would kill the Levine Cava plan backed by the county commission to retain most of the police department under the mayor’s authority after a sheriff takes office in 2025 as mandated by a recent amendment to the Florida Constitution.
While Levine Cava wanted to surrender limited county policing duties to the sheriff, the bill heading to Gov. Ron DeSantis for his signature requires Miami-Dade to hand over its entire police department, the Miami Herald reports.
The legislation (House Bill 1595) allows for a gradual shift in what the public will see from county law enforcement once the new sheriff takes office in January 2025. The bill allows a three-year transition to shift MDPD squad cars to the sheriff motif, including deputy badges with stars and a color scheme dominated by dark green.
Miami-Dade’s police union backed the legislation that bars the county from retaining police officers once the sheriff takes office in January 2025. Steadman Stahl, president of the local Police Benevolent Association union, said a powerful sheriff assures voters can make a clear choice when it comes to public safety.