Wednesday, Jan. 20, was the fifth anniversary of the deaths of Miami-Dade Police Officers Roger Castillo and Amanda Haworth, who were killed while serving an arrest warrant.
I extend our thoughts and prayers to their families. These officers died protecting this community, and we should all be extremely grateful for their sacrifice. Words will never ease the pain and suffering for the families, but may they know that this community holds them in their heart. I know I do. Rest in peace, Officers Castillo and Haworth. You will never be forgotten.
Since their deaths, many officers have been killed in the line of duty, protecting us like no other profession that exists. Yet we, the community, do not show enough courage to step up to the plate to go out of our way to say “Thank you.”
If ever they needed our support, it is now more than ever. As long as guns are out in the street, they will be in harm’s way.
You may say, “Where did these guns come from?” It’s very simple: Criminals steal them from houses when they commit burglaries.
If you own a gun, please make sure it is properly secured in your home and that it is not easy for a burglar to grab.
Recently I received an email from a reader who had a collection of weapons. Someone broke into his house and stole them all. Lord knows where those guns are now.
Please keep your gun in a secure place.
Another email I received was from a reader who kept his gun in the car, in case he needed it while traveling. Well, he forgot to lock his car one time, and there went his weapon.
Again, let’s start using good judgment with our guns. The life you save may be that of a family member or a police officer.
One thing we teach our Youth Crime Watch kids: If they know of someone in school (yes, in school) who has a gun, they need to tell a teacher or school resource officer immediately. If you think that guns don’t get into schools, think again because they do.
The school police officers do an excellent job to make sure that few guns get into schools, but there are not enough officers to cover every school.
This is a conversation parents should have with their children. Trust me, kids know everything that is happening in their school, so parents please encourage your children to “speak up” when they know something.
In the last couple of months, it has been disheartening seeing so many kids get gunned down or hit by stray bullets. This should not be happening in our communities.
The police need everyone’s support in catching criminals who have no regard for life, and they need to be taken off the streets immediately. If you know something, say something. This is the only way our community can be at peace.
Carmen Caldwell is executive director of Citizens’ Crime Watch of Miami-Dade. Send feedback and news for this column to firstname.lastname@example.org, or call her at 305-470-1670.