More Guns, Less Crime in South Florida

Despite recent gun violence, violent crime actually dropping

From the west Miami-Dade park shooting last month where four children were injured to the senseless killing of a young mother at a check cashing store in Broward last week, it appears South Florida has seen an unusual amount of gun violence this summer.

Local law enforcement officials say there's no doubt that guns are more prevalent on the streets and are easier to come by.

"We are seeing that people are able to get their hands on more high-powered weaponry," said Delrish Moss, spokesman for the City of Miami Police Department.

But while there are more guns on the streets, crime isn't on the rise in the state or South Florida, especially during the hot summer months.

"I think that's a myth more than anything," said Moss of the theory that violent crimes spike during the summer. "What happens is we do get more mischief with kids involved."

Overall, violent crime is on a downward trend in South Florida, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

In 2009, Miami-Dade County reported 19,797 violent crimes, but by 2010 that number was down to 18,507. In Broward, there were 9,562 violent crimes in 2009 and 8,597 in 2010.

But what's also on the decline is the number of police officers patrolling neighborhoods.

"Attrition, the economy, a number of things are contributing to the fact that you're not seeing as many law enforcement officers," said Moss.

Moss said residents need to become more vigilant to make sure violent crime continues to drop in 2011.

"I depend on you to be the eyes and ears, I depend on you to make phone calls, I depend on you to tell me the things that are necessary to get the people off the street," he said.

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