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 $8 million Peace and Prosperity plan on Tuesday. Part of the resources will go towards law enforcement, 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.”
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.
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.
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.”