The Public Information Office of the Miami Springs Police Department presented a program last week at the Rebeca Sosa Theatre in Community Center and more than 40 citizens attended the presentation which was geared to residential crime prevention and public safety.
Assisted by PIO officers Janice Simon and Jorge Capote, Sgt. Jimmy Deal used a PowerPoint program to explain ways residents can help by identifying suspicious people and preventing local crimes.
“We want to get as many residents as we can involved,” said Capote. “We wanted to reach out and get people involved in crime prevention and personal safely.”
The event wasn’t geared to an increase in crime because that isn’t the case. Crime stats are low and police want to keep it that way.
“Burglaries are down,” said Police Chief Pete Baan. “In fact, 2012 was our slowest year for burglaries in five years. We’re down 26 percent from the prior year.”
A detail that doesn’t show in official statistics is that most Springs burglaries, including car burglaries, happen around fringe hotels and most victims are visitors.
Baan said Miami Springs has a response time of under 3 minutes, one of the lowest in Miami-Dade County, particularly for a city its size.
A packet given to each attendee included brochures and pamphlets addressing various types of crimes, from elderly abuse to juvenile drug use, and a list of emergency contact numbers.
Included was detailed information on how to recognize suspicious people and activities and when to call police. Citizens were also informed on home safety and security and setting up a phone chain to exchange information with neighbors.
“We do very high-profile police work here and our officers are highly visible,” Baan said. “We catch a lot of burglars, but we always appreciate help from citizens.”