Two officers who arrested a pair of robbery suspects by spotting a tattoo demonstrate the continuing need for “pro-active police work,” declared Maj. Alexander D. Casas who heads the Miami-Dade Police Hammocks District.
“This is the kind of dayto- day vigilance that has proven one key for reducing crime throughout the district during the past year,” he told a Jan. 26 Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) meeting at the Hammocks District headquarters.
Officers Al Gamez and Ariel Visciglia were named “Officers of the Month” for their arrest of two subjects in a separate location after their earlier involvement in a store robbery.
Honored for teamwork, the two officers were recognized by Maj. Casas who emphasized their ability to connect unrelated incidents through awareness of neighborhood areas.
“It’s the kind of day-today police work that keeps our crime rate low,” Maj. Casas said, adding that with the single exception of aggravated assault and battery crimes, “every category of crime was reduced during the past year, compared with a year ago.
“We had less than 175 robberies for the past year, an overall reduction of 30 percent, a remarkable figure,” he continued. “For the entire year, we had 187 stolen cars. For a district like unincorporated Kendall with over 300,000 people, those are remarkable figures.
“Both residential and commercial burglaries saw reductions of 11 percent, really amazing when you consider the size and growth of our area.”
Maj. Casas attributed a 19 percent upturn in the single assault category “to the continued activity of area gangs — mostly during summer months when they are most active.
“Actually, we’re fortunate in that the related gang activity we have is not connected to narcotics and is largely non-violent,” he added.
He credited teams of four to five officers answering single complaints “as another key to solving crime quickly, helped a great deal by citizens who call immediately when they are suspicious of potential crimes being committed.
“The quicker our officers can get to the scene and interview witnesses for descriptions, the better we can locate and identify suspects through continued pro-active involvement of our police in neighborhoods they patrol.”
Asked about tighter budgeting, Maj. Casas said, “We are striving to maintain the basic service levels, rather than enhance what we already do. Conscientious, proactive police work is significantly helping reduce crime levels in our area.”