“Don’t Snitch”? If Not You, Then Who?

On December 16, 2007 the Miami Gardens Police Department became responsible for patrolling the streets of the City of Miami Gardens. What a proud moment in my life to be one of the “First 150”.

Since that date, the Department has formed a bond with the community that has enabled us to reduce part one crimes over 40%!! An amazing achievement that we could not have obtained without community partnerships and hard work by your police department. Since our inception as a police department one crime has been a constant newsworthy event. Homicide, the worst crime that impacts families for the rest of their lives. You may ask what the police department is doing to deal with this violent crime?I can tell you that in a vast majority of Miami Gardens homicide cases we can tell you who was involved and why it happened. Unfortunately, that circumstantial evidence will only take us so far when presenting a case to the Miami Dade State Attorney’s Office.

More often than not, the stumbling block for the Miami Gardens Police Department in investigating homicides is the “No Snitch” credo that is prevalent in our great City. Obviously many things go into someone deciding not to come forward and speak about what they observed, were told, or heard. Fear is a strong emotion that is a harsh reality that I’m sure impacts some people from coming forward. Fear is something that we need to overcome as a community to create a safer environment for our children and grandchildren to prosper. Failing to act on knowledge of any crime perpetuates the criminal behavior.

I implore our citizens to look in the mirror and imagine the suffering a family must undergo when they have lost a loved one. I further implore you to imagine if it was you and your family. Often, we fail to realize the overwhelming effects of violence until it has hit too close to home. It can happen to me, you, or your neighbor. Failing to come forward in a way is tacit approval of the violent behavior that some members of our community perpetrate.

Let’s begin today in making our community safer. Let’s put the bad element on notice. Let our actions and words speak loudly that we are not going to tolerate violence any longer. I ask you again, “If not you, then who?”

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