Miami Florida September 15, 2023
Miami City commissioners on Thursday gave their unanimous approval to a resolution allowing the city manager to contract with a private company to manage off-duty employment of city police officers.
The decision came after three years of false starts and resistance, at times from within the police department itself, and opposition from the police union.
RollKall Technologies has software and a phone-based app that will schedule the work, monitor the whereabouts of officers working off-duty through GPS, and account for their payments, including producing a federal tax record totaling how much each officer is paid each year.
The NBC6 Investigators have documented problems in the program for years, most recently showing an off-duty officer sleeping in his police car with its emergency lights on while in the parking lot of Magic City Casino. That officer told internal affairs he wasn’t feeling well.
“A tired officer is an officer who’s not at peak performance and our jobs are extremely serious so we’re dealing with the lives of folks and being able to maintain public safety is difficult,” Miami Police Chief Manuel Morales said Thursday.
Morales and the city manager sought the approval to hire RollKall, whose system could help keep officers from working more than the allowed 16 hours a day.
“Not only knowing the hours they work, but having the GPS capabilities to know when they get there, where they are, are they leaving the job, are they doing what they need to do,” Morales said.
Commissioner Manolo Reyes made sure schools, churches and other non-profits are made exempt from paying an extra 8% of the labor costs for off-duty officers to RollKall Technologies.
“We’re removing all fees from schools and nonprofits, which makes perfect sense, officers are trying to help those individuals recipients of service in the community and we’re happy to do that,” said RollKall CEO Chris White.
Commissioner Joe Carollo also got concessions. He has been concerned for years about how bars were skirting a policy against officers working where liquor is served and how some were paid.
“Now what is supposed to happen is cash is no longer feasible,” Carollo said. “They cannot pay in cash and the officers that have those jobs, they’re going to be rotated.”
RollKall will collect 6 to 8% from the employers, who will still pay officers their minimum $50.50 off-duty hourly wage, though through RollKall.
The company said officers have received more than $26 million during the year and a half it has been conducting a pilot program with the city.
While the police union lobbied against the contract, their president said they’re not opposed to the concept of changing the off-duty system, but would rather the city have the flexibility to develop its own app and software.
RollKall assured commissioners that the city could cancel the contract with 30 days’ notice for any reason, including if they come up with their own system.