Five Controversial Items Miami Police Departments Asked for This Summer

Miami-Dade County set its annual budget late Thursday night. According to the Miami Herald's Doug Hanks, county commissioners argued over whether it was worth spending $100,000 to revive the county's Civilian Investigative Panel, which employs civilians to investigate complaints against police. Many law enforcement scholars agree civilian-led panels provide an essential check on police power.

But as protesters marched through Charlotte, North Carolina, demanding greater police accountability Thursday, the commissioners ultimately decided a scant $100,000 was too much to spend to revive the panel. The county's entire budget totals more than $7 billion.

Now seems to be a good time to remind Miami citizens that multiple city governments across the county green-lighted expensive police-spending proposals this summer. Those projects are far more controversial than the Civilian Investigative Panel. Here are five examples:
1. Miami-Dade Police are spending up to $5.6 million on a gunshot detector they stopped using in 2013 after they found it didn't work very well.
2. Coral Gables Police tried to give Miami Beach a spare armored truck it had lying around, but that donation turned out to not be kosher.
3. City of Miami Police said they needed to rush-order $300,000 in military-grade body armor after the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando.
4. City of Miami Police also said they need $100,000 in new AR-15-style rifles.
5. Miami-Dade County Police are spending $6 million on license-plate readers, night-vision rifles, and ballistic shields.

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