City of Miami parks expands operations, lifts restrictions to target violent crimes

MIAMI (WSVN) - Parks in the City of Miami are expanding their operations. Two entities have teamed up with the goal of putting a dent in the number of violent crimes.

“The escalating gun violence in these communities is truly a public health emergency,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava. “It has taken too many lives.”

Miami-Dade County has partnered with the Miami-Dade Police Department to put an even bigger spotlight on safe spaces where children can go to get away from crime.

“Parks are the great equalizer. Everybody benefits from our parks, and especially we know post pandemic how much we need our parks,” Levine Cava said.

Levine Cava, along with Miami-Dade Police Director Alfredo Ramirez, laid out a plan for the future. They said one thing they plan on doing is expanding the police athletic league program, which works to prevent youth crime by giving children a recreational outlet and building trust with law enforcement.

“It will ensure that more young people have a space, a safe space, to engage in during the after-school hours,” Levine Cava said. “It will help them build skills for the future. It is one step but a very critical step.”

There are also plans to create more programs that address gun violence.

“I want our officers there with them, on the side, talking to the kids,” Ramirez said. “If a child needs something that we can do or we can through our resources to provide to him, her or their family.”

All indoor facilities like gyms and community centers reopen on Monday.

Outdoor facilities that were closed because of the pandemic like water fountains, picnic areas, grills and benches will also reopen.

Park visitors must still wear face masks indoors and outdoors when not exercising.

There is not a timeline for when the PAL Program is going to be extended.

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