MIAMI (WSVN) - Miami-Dade County commissioners have endorsed a plan to to help reduce gun violence in the county in the wake of numerous shootings in the region.
Commissioners agreed unanimously to the Peace and Prosperity Plan on Tuesday. Part of the resources will go towards law enforcement, such as for new license plate readers, but they will also look to give jobs to some teenagers with criminal records to stem the tide of gun violence.
“We’re taking a pandemic approach from our command posts to our deployments instead of being COVID, when we were able to handle the whole county, now, it’s going to be gun violence,” Miami-Dade Police Director Alfredo “Freddy” Ramirez said. “Same template, what we’re good at, what we do proven and effective.”
In total, the Peace and Prosperity plan will cost $90 million over the next 19 years. In the first two years, the county will spend $10 million on programs.
“They’ll be strategically placed based on the trends that we have, also by information from the community,” Ramirez said regarding the license plate readers. “Remember, we’re not here to peek into people’s houses or invade privacy. These are open public space domain deployments.”
The lifting of COVID-19 restrictions nationwide has given way to a surge of shootings.
A domestic violence shooting left three dead and three injured in Southwest Miami-Dade, Sunday night. Also, an Atlanta woman stands accused of shooting her sister in the head as they drove to Miami Beach.
Hours before the plan was endorsed, two 19-year-olds, identified Tuesday as Lucretia Braithwaite and Johnnie Dixson, died in a drive-by shooting in Northwest Miami-Dade.
“To the mothers out there and to the kids who are thinking about giving up and to the community leaders who are tired, the cavalry has been summoned,” Miami-Dade Commissioner Kionne McGhee said.
Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava announced a different approach to combat the violence.
“Aggressive enforcement is the critical first step,” she said. “We know that. We have to stop this bleeding and get the criminals off the street, but we are fully committed. I am fully committed to ensuring that our police department has all the resources that it needs to get the job done, and we are sparing no resources.”
Last week, Miami-Dade Police announced Operation Summer Heat, a collaboration between all law enforcement agencies in Miami-Dade County to crack down on the shootings. However, more shootings happened days after their announcement.
According to Levine Cava, around 170 people have been arrested, and more than 60 firearms have been seized since the operation began.
“We now are moving forward with a plan for the next 12 weeks to bring these killers to justice, and we are moving forward with a plan to prevent future bleeding,” Levine Cava said. “That is what the Peace and Prosperity Plan will do.”
Commissioners discussed the surge of shootings and how a focus on education could be a major part of the solution.
“It’s a cradle to career focus, so we talk about our early head start, we talk about our school involvement,” Miami-Dade Chief Community Services Officer Morris Copeland said. “We talk about family dynamics. We talk about extracurricular activities. We talk about educational attainment.”
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