Crime

Youth Crime Watch teaches prevention and responsibility of reporting crime

McGruff the Crime Dog meets youngsters during a 2016 toy drive in Doral.
McGruff the Crime Dog meets youngsters during a 2016 toy drive in Doral. Miami Herald File

Once again, our community has been hit with senseless violence against those sworn to protect us. Two undercover Miami-Dade police detectives, Clarence Woods and Terence White, were shot and wounded Monday night in Northwest Miami-Dade.

As I listened to new reports, I was disturbed to hear people say that they’ve “been hearing shots all week long,” and that no one bothered to call the police or identify these young cowards who hide behind their guns.

Gun violence is prevalent in our community, but that doesn’t mean nothing is being done about it. Partnerships with law enforcement and community groups are doing their best to change and address the needs of juvenile offenders.

One of these programs is Youth Crime Watch, in which many of our schools work with the Miami-Dade Schools Police. This program has received many accolades from across the country and it’s one of the most visible in teaching students how to prevent crime.

Youth Crime Watch not only teaches prevention but also the responsibility in reporting crimes. Youngsters love and relate to our animated icon, McGruff the Crime Dog.

Check out our newly refreshed Youth Crime Watch of Miami-Dade website, www.youthcrimewatch-miamidade.org. There have been updates made to the Latest News, School News and Weekly Award Recipients pages. Also, we have now our latest YCW Vision e-newsletter included in the Resources section.

Feel free to contact us at 305-468-1302 or joel@citizenscrimewatch.org if you have any questions or requests. This program is free to all schools, and although we only have three coordinators to cover Miami-Dade, we try our best to service all requests.

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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