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.”
In the past week, dozens of people have been shot, and at least three people have died in the shootings.
“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 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.”