NORTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - Officials in Miami-Dade County said they have identified 2,000 children at risk youth in the county, and they are seeking to intervene before they become statistics.
“We’re here because we have been able to finally understand who are the children at greatest risk,” said Miami-Dade Superintendent Alberto Carvalho.
Carvalho made the announcement Tuesday. “This group of children who have not yet broken the law, who have not yet had interaction with law enforcement, but if we do not intervene aggressively, more than likely, they shall,” he said.
Officials said they used data from several factors to pinpoint the names. The factors included poverty, family issues, bad childhood experiences, poor self and impulse control, access to guns and gang involvement.
Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez was on hand for the announcement. “Being a former firefighter, I know that the root cause of a fire is somewhere underneath. There is a root cause to this,” he said. “What we are trying to do, what I think will be a model for the country, is try to stop violence before it happens.”
Officials are hopeful that they will be able to prevent crimes like the murder of 8-year-old Jada Page, who was killed in a drive-by shooting in August.
Officials said that the children live in 20 zip codes in the county, and having their names will allow them to stop violence before it starts. “We are going to continue to do what we do, but now were going to do it in a more laser sharp way,” said Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle.
Officials said they’ll have community meetings later in September before meeting with the students they deemed most at risk of committing violence.
When asked it would be as simple as knocking on the door of the children’s homes, Carvalho responded, “Not as simple as that, but certainly is part of the solution. Standing up, showing up, speaking up, connecting children with mentors — connecting children with high-quality programs of all levels. Elementary schools, middle school, senior high school.”
The first meeting where officials will discuss the information with the public will be Monday, Sept. 19, at the Arcola Lakes Library in Miami.
If you have any information on the identity or whereabouts of Jada Page’s killer(s), call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for the $25,000 reward.
Jada’s mother has also set up a GoFundMe account hoping to raise and additional $25,000 to add to the reward for information leading to the killer’s arrest. To donate go to www.gofundme.com/2mustjpm.
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