A week after four students were arrested on charges they brought loaded guns to a middle school, Miami-Dade school district and law enforcement leaders are pointing to the incident as a successful example of a new public safety campaign.
The middle-schoolers were caught after a fellow student tipped off adults just as police were on their way to Brownsville Middle School for a random search.
On Tuesday, schools Police Chief Ian Moffett encouraged students: “If you see something, say something.”
The slogan comes from a national campaign, organized by the Department of Homeland Security, to encourage average people to report suspicious activity. Miami-Dade is the only school district in the country that has launched the program in schools.
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“What we’re asking is for the community to step up and help us,” said Superintendent Alberto Carvalho.
Miami-Dade schools joined the campaign in May. But school leaders decided to highlight the initiative now in light of recent community violence. On Saturday, 15 people were injured in a shooting at a Liberty City club. Many of the victims were of school age.
“We’re not talking numbers. We’re not talking facts. We’re talking about real people,’’ said School Board Vice Chair Lawrence Feldman.
School police encouraged young people to report crimes to 305-995-COPS.
“We’re trying to break the cycle of silence,” said Miami-Dade PTA President Joe Gebara.
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