DORAL, FLA. (WSVN) - Miami-Dade Police have rolled out a new plan to combat an increase in violent crime in the county, as the families of loved ones injured and killed due to the violence made pleas to the community.
Operation Summer Heat, which began late Wednesday night, involves law enforcement agencies on the state, local and federal level throughout Miami-Dade County working together to get in front of the violence.
“I’ve never had to mobilize the entire county,” Miami-Dade Police Director Alfredo “Freddy” Ramirez said about what distinguishes this operation from others. “Our other crime initiatives were always for a specific area that was experiencing a trend, a hot spot.”
Some of the changes to enforcement during the operation include an increased police presence and scouring social media. The county will also send out 17 strike teams that will have the power to shut down illegally-run businesses that may be a hotbed for crime.
“This is your law enforcement community right here standing shoulder to shoulder. Our federal partners, U.S. Attorneys, state attorney, FBI, DEA,” Ramirez said. “You’re going to have strategic enforcement, high visibility, community engagement. All four corners of this county know that the law enforcement community is unified together.”
“We are working together. We’re leveraging our resources. We’re leveraging our intelligence, and most importantly, we’re leveraging the heart of the people of Miami-Dade,” City of Miami Police Chief Art Acevedo said.
In the past week, dozens of people have been shot, and at least three people have died in the shootings.
The State Attorney’s Office also plans to send their own staff to crime scenes.
“People want us to get the killers and guns off the street,” Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle said. “People want to be safe and feel safe right now. To the people of Miami-Dade County, your message is clear. We hear you.”
Among the speakers at Thursday’s news conference was Romania Dukes, who lost her 17-year-old son, DeMichael Dukes, in a shooting. She said she has dedicated her life to working with families who are going through a similar situation.
“We all know who our killers are, and it’s up to our community to stand up,” Dukes said. “Our community needs to stand up and stand up now.”
Tangela Sears, who also lost her son in a shooting, said she also works to support grieving families of victims of gun violence.
“So, my prayers is that this, that is being put forth in front of you today, help you get the justice that you deserve,” said Sears.
While authorities announced their plan to combat increased violence, another shooting broke out in the county. It happened in North Miami near Northwest 141st Street and Second Avenue.
Aerial footage from 7Skyforce captured three people in police custody at that scene.
If you have any information on any of these shootings in Miami-Dade County, call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a reward.
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