HALLANDALE BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - Ten members of Hallandale Beach Police’s SWAT team have resigned citing safety concerns in a letter sent to the department’s police chief.
The letter to Chief Sonia Quinones is dated June 9, and the team members said they were “minimally equipped, under trained and often times restrained by the politicization of our tactics to the extent of placing the safety of dogs over the safety of the team members.”
The team members added that their current situation and several recent local events have made officers increasingly hesitant, which “creates safety issues that cannot be ignored or overlooked.”
Officers also claimed they have had a lack of support from the city’s administration, commission and command staff. The officers said they were displeased with the command staff, who took a knee with protesters during a Monday demonstration.
“Until these conditions and sentiments are rectified and addressed, we cannot safely, effectively and in good faith carry out duties in this capacity without putting ourselves and our families at this needless increased level of risk,” the officers wrote.
City Manager Greg Chavarria released a statement Friday regarding the officers’ resignation:
“City of Hallandale Beach Police Chief Sonia Quinones received communication from members of the SWAT Team dated, June 9, 2020 on Friday morning, June 12, 2020. Upon receipt of the memo, the Chief immediately set a meeting for Monday at 3 p.m. with the officers who signed the memo. At that time, the Chief will hear their concerns and collect their equipment. The City thanks them for their service.
The City of Hallandale Beach continues to have special weapons and tactics coverage through regional mutual aid, which the City has used for SWAT operations in the past. While the voluntary resignation of our officers from this assignment is unfortunate, our residents should be assured it has not had any impact on our commitment to protecting their safety. Also, while these officers have resigned from the SWAT Team, they have not resigned from the Department.
The officers who submitted their resignation from their SWAT assignment include the newly elected president of the IUPA Police Union. They specifically mention their displeasure with the Chief joining members of our community in taking a knee against racism, hatred, and intolerance earlier this week. They have incorrectly stated the gesture was in support of an elected official. This is simply not true.”
To read the full resignation letter, click here.
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