Crime Watch

Crime Watch: Help the police anonymously by calling Crime Stoppers

 

Special to the Miami Herald

This week, I want to talk about the violence that has been plaguing our community. Sadly, it often seems to be the same areas that are affected time and again, and this should be unacceptable to the good people of these communities. This is totally out of control and everyone should be outraged. I don’t mean outraged at police or elected officials but outraged that no one is coming forward to hand up these “low life” individuals!

I would venture to say these “wannabe thugs” have family members who know where they live or hang. Well, to those family members, my condolences to you for having to be related to them. You can disassociate yourself from them by doing the right thing, and that is to pick up the phone and call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers.

A mother and her baby dead due to shots being fired, a man on Northwest 46th Street under the freeway shot to death, dozens of innocent bystanders shot to death or wounded in the last few months, and no one saw anything? Folks, that’s hard for me to believe.

There are many things you can do without being identified. Let’s start with the Miami-Dade Gun Bounty program, an avenue that works in conjunction with Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers line, 305-471-TIPS (8477). Anyone who knows of an illegal gun — for example, a gun in the possession of a convicted felon — can call Crime Stoppers and report it. Once the offender is arrested, the tipster will be eligible for a $1,000 reward. As of April 4, the program had recovered 772 guns and led to 456 arrests since it started in 2007, and they have received 4,438 calls from residents.

Yes, it’s the job of the police to solve crimes, but I haven’t met a police officer in 30 years of doing crime prevention who has mental telepathy. Therefore they need your support, especially those who are affected the most — people in the communities where the violence continues to happen. You know who the dirt bags are, you know who is carrying that gun and is a convicted felon, you know who is selling those drugs, and you know who the pimp that is making money off those young girls on the street. You, the neighbors, have a lot more information than the police. So think about that. You truly can make a difference by picking up the phone to Crime Stoppers.

I am so heart sick of hearing about all these shootings of innocent people, the suffering their families are going through. Someone told me that in Miami Gardens, there were 23 shootings in the last year and 17 are still unsolved. That is disheartening. I am sure that the shooters are not reading this column, but I am sure that many in these areas are reading this column and will do their part by calling Crime Stoppers with information.

Today is Easter Sunday. Let’s give those families who are grieving their losses something to help them with their heavy hearts, by turning in whoever you know might have been responsible for any of the violence in your community.

Carmen Caldwell is executive director of Citizens’ Crime Watch of Miami-Dade. Send feedback and news for this column to carmen@citizenscrimewatch.org, or call her at 305-470-1670.

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