Citizens' Crime Watch of Miami-Dade recently held its 38th Annual board meeting and the election of its officers, so I want to share with you our Annual Report of what we did for 2012-2013. There are not too many non-profit organizations out there that have been around as long as we have, but thanks to you, the residents of Miami-Dade County we are still going strong.
The 2013-2014 board members elected are: Irving Heller, president; JD Patterson, vice president; Sam Harte, treasurer; Craig M. Dorne, secretary.
The members at large are: Miami-Dade County Commissioner Jose Pepe Diaz, Ana Carazo-Johanning, Richard Masten, Joe Martinez, Tammie Clearfield, Annie Ross, Terri Guttman Valdez, Priscilla M. Rivera, David Ward, Sofian A. Zakkout, Meg Garza, Jill Sanchez, Randy Heller, Ian A. Moffett, Manuel Orosa, Guillermo Diaz Rousselot and Jacqueline M. Perez. Congratulations to our new board, whose members work diligently in keeping our organization viable.
Our budget and staff has remained the same this past year, and no truer is the phrase "doing more with less" than this past year. We received many more requests for service this past year, and not so much because of crime but because residents in our community wanted to prevent crime from happening in their area -- wanted to be the "eyes and ears" of their local law enforcement. We thank the mayor and the county commission for their support by funding our organization. We also want to thank the school board members, schools Police Chief Ian Moffett, and Superintendent Alberto Carvalho for funding our Youth Crime Watch for this coming school year.
Now here are just a few things we accomplished this past year:
• Established more than 475 new Neighborhood Watch groups countywide as well as revitalizing 315 old groups. These new groups, revitalized groups and many Safety events brought a total of reaching 32,000 residents, and distributed more than 45,000 pieces of crime prevention literature.
• Responded to more than 2,100 inquires through our newly designed website www.citizenscrimewatch.org, from around the country, South America, England, Germany, the Netherlands, Canada, the Philippines, France, Colombia, Argentina, Chile, Mexico and Brazil. Visitors to our website averaged 5,700 a month, not to mention our YCW and CCW Facebook pages.
• Coordinated Senior Crime Prevention programs, reaching over 800 seniors.
Youth Crime Watch
Although the funding for this program was limited, our three coordinators served more than 29,010 students. Our coordinators distributed 40,115 pieces of crime prevention literature to the students, parents, teachers and school police officers.
Our McGruff program participated in classroom presentations, school assemblies in topics such as anti-bullying prevention, gun safety awareness, sexting, Internet safety, drug awareness and reporting crimes in their school. This year we also participated in the Mayors’ Youth Roundtable initiatives, helping to bring awareness to our youth in preventing crime.
In closing, I want to thank so many of you for the well wishes during my absence and a big thank you to my coordinator Alina Lopez for pinch-hitting with last week’s column.
Also, remember that Monday is Veterans Day. Please keep those in prayer who gave so much for our country and freedom.