The Miami-Dade Police Department kicked off its annual holiday crime initiative Friday.
This year, it’s happening in the middle of a pandemic, and police still have a stern message for those who try to take advantage of others.
“Don’t try it,” said Alfredo Ramirez, Director of Miami-Dade Police Department. “This community is united, this law-enforcement community is united and we will be out here vigilant as ever.”
Starting Friday, the department said, both uniform and undercover officers will be out at malls and shopping centers during the holidays.
“Unfortunately, this is the time of year when bad actors seek to commit crimes taking advantage of distracted and vulnerable shoppers,” said Ramirez.
The annual initiative is different this year, as so many are struggling with job loss and making ends meet during the pandemic.
“Think of the children right now, who are hoping to have some sort of normal holiday,” Ramirez said. “They can’t even go to school and for people to come and try to take advantage, we’re not going to tolerate that. We will be out here working together to make sure that does not happen.”
The department wants people to be alert anywhere in public, and to say something if they see something.
“No tip is too small," said Jaime Nunez, a captain with the Miami-Dade Police Department. “We all play a role in keeping our community safe and we need your assistance and partnership for a safe community.”
“We’re out here and we’re not hiding,” Ramirez added. “We are out here engaging, ensuring that we have a safe holiday.”
The department reminded people to park in well-lit areas, lock their doors, and don’t leave valuables out in the open.