The first initiative to go into effect after the plan’s passage was Operation Summer Heat, led by the Miami-Dade County Police Department. Through it, our community made historic investments in police enforcement capabilities in neighborhoods that were most impacted by the scourge of gun violence. In addition to increasing police presence in these communities, Operation Summer Heat also greatly enhanced the tools our police force had at their disposal in order to fight and prevent crime.
These tools included:
- additional resources for social media monitoring;
- the introduction of Project Greenlight – which placed security cameras in high-crime areas; as well as
- additional license plate readers to help our officers and detectives find suspects and witnesses, and much more.
Originally scheduled to end after just 12 weeks, the early success of Operation Summer Heat led us to renew and rename the program, now known as Operation Community Shield, and fund it through February of this year.
The latest data we have on the success of Operation Community Shield is truly astounding. Since launching 8 months ago, this initiative has led to the removal of 1,238 firearms and a dramatic decrease in shootings throughout Miami-Dade County. This includes a 53% decrease in the Northside District, a 59% decrease in the Intracoastal District, and a 57% decrease in the South District.
Equally important to stepping up our law enforcement capacity was additional investment in the critical diversionary programs that keep our youngest residents on the right path. As part of my Peace and Prosperity Plan, we also expanded several programs with a proven track record in doing just this, including the Fit2Lead Program that has been championed by our Department of Parks, Recreation, and Open Spaces.