Community Voices

Crime Watch: Youth Crime Watch honors ‘Exemplary Award’ winners

A couple of weeks ago I recognized the students who participated in our Youth Crime Watch Poster and Essay contest. This week I want to recognize the winners from our Exemplary Awards. The following is a listing of the Youth Crime Watch of Miami-Dade “Exemplary Award” winners for the 2014-15 school year. Thank you to all the schools that submitted nominations; and to all our Youth Crime Watch school advisors, student members, school faculty and administration, and school resource officers for the important service they provide on the safety of their school environment.

2014-15 Exemplary Award Winners

YCW School of the Year

▪ Elementary: Ojus Elementary School

▪ Middle: Leewood K-8 Center

▪ Senior: Dr. Michael Krop Senior High School

YCW Advisor of the Year

▪ Elementary: Ana Arias, Gloria Floyd Elementary School

▪ Middle: Dr. Tanisha Laidler, Frank C. Martin International K-8 Center

▪ Senior: Peter Falcon, Barbara Goleman Senior High School

YCW Student of the Year

▪ Elementary: Ana Paola Cortes-Aguilar, Eugenia B. Thomas K-8 Center

▪ Middle: Kaiya Ballard, Frank C. Martin International K-8 Center

▪ Senior: Cristian Lamas, Barbara Goleman Senior High School

The youth of today are the future residents of this county, who will help shape this community as a whole. This is why we invest in their total development including partnerships with law enforcement, an essential part of growing up to be an involved citizen. Our youth today are much more “astute” in their thinking process therefore molding them for the future is an opportunity we have had thru our Youth Crime Watch program for the last 36 years in the school making them outstanding leaders. Our program mission statement is “to foster a safe school environment impacting students well-being through awareness and involvement” and this we have accomplished through the years. Although funding for this program has had its challenges, I am proud of my staff for what they have succeeded to do, reaching as many as 40,000 students a year with crime prevention presentations and club meetings. Our system is simple, a philosophy that has been successful in reducing crime, recognizing and reporting crimes without the fear that most students experience because of their wholehearted commitment to their fellow students and teachers. This is why the above winners were nominated by their schools, their teachers and school resource officers and we congratulate them. If you have children and want to know if there is a YCW in their school, feel free to contact our office.

Now to last week column, many emails on the subject of “scams” and Lord o Lord tons of emails again. Folks we are the capital of fraud and we must keep that constantly in mind, so please think before you do anything “when in doubt” just say no or hang up or walk away!

Finally to all my seniors that read this column, please stop taking purses to the store or shopping! I had several emails regarding purses being stolen on their way to and from their cars. Also, please do not give any information over the phone I don’t care if they tell you they are calling from the “White House” hang up that phone. Have a safe week.

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