gun violence

New Miami Police Chief Urging Officers in Specific Neighborhoods to Stop Gun Violence

The neighborhoods that will see more police presence as part of the initiative are Little Havana, Little Haiti, Allapattah, Overtown, and Model City.

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More police officers will soon be patrolling the streets of five neighborhoods plagued by gun violence in the City of Miami.

“We are going to be laser-focused,” said Miami Police Chief Art Acevedo.

Acevedo announced an initiative Friday aimed at curbing gun violence in 2021, citing statistics about shootings in the area. 

Acevedo says 86 percent of shootings in the City of Miami take place in five neighborhoods. 

“Poor communities which sadly are the ones most impacted by violent crime -- they don’t want to defund the police. They want better policing and they want enhanced safety like every community in this country,” Acevedo said.

To make these neighborhoods safe, Acevedo said he’s deploying more than 130 officers to the specific areas with the most trouble: Little Havana, Little Haiti, Allapattah, Overtown, and Model City.

So far this year, 22 people have been killed in Miami. 15 were murdered at the same time in last year.

Mayor Francis Suarez said: “That’s the number one statistic in our city and he [Acevedo] came up with this initiative that of course could not be done without federal, state, [and] county partners to make sure that we proactive and reactive.”

Acevedo told us that his officers are using data and technology to get the most out of the additional officers that are being deployed. 

“What we’re doing is we are going to leverage data and intelligence to action inform our decisions. This 90-day operation will involve all these entities here and will focus on the five impacted areas of the city that are impacted by gun violence,” Acevedo said.

Miami-Dade County and the federal government are also on board with the 90-day push—something community activists say can make all the difference.

Tangela Sears lost her child to gun violence and has been at the forefront as a community activist trying to sop the killings. 

Friday afternoon, she spoke about the safety plan. 

“I am just so glad to see that they are moving on it. Because I know with our police departments, [] state attorney’s office, and our federal government’s involvement we will get these killers off the streets,” Sears said.

Miami-Dade State Attorney Kathy Fernandez Rundle is behind the effort and is trying to get residents to see that they have to do their part to make their block safe. 

“One thing we must realize. The police can only do so much. The prosecutors and the courts can only do so much. [But] we can’t do it without the community,” Fernandez-Rundle said.

The initiative also has much broader plans when it comes to community programs that will help people in these areas. Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cave said funding has been secured to get these up and running.

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