According to a recent report, the city saw a decrease in crime last year. According to FBI statistics, the number of robbery, burglary, sexual battery and auto theft cases are on the decline. The Police Chief of Miami told reporters that the numbers would have been even better if his predecessors had provided more complete reports regarding crimes in the city. While, the statistics show a decline in crime, Miami criminal lawyers continue to be busy representing clients charged with offenses from cocaine trafficking to Medicare fraud. The chief boasted that the numbers for the second half of the year should be even better. Whether the reduction in crime is a result of better reporting or better crime fighting remains to be seen.
The achievements of the Miami Police Department have not gone unnoticed. The International Association of Police Chiefs presented the department with an award for its achievements. The department was one out of the 18,000 police departments nominated for the award. Another achievement for the department was that Coconut Grove was named as the safest neighborhood in South Florida and in the top 29 for safest neighborhoods in the United States.
The Miami Police Department attributed the drop in crime to several innovative ideas used to target serious violent crimes ans sex crimes. One of the initiatives was the creation of the Tactical Operations Center (TOS). The TOS is a 24 hour/seven day a week operation that pro-actively attacks violent crimes and is made up of more than 100 undercover and plain clothed police officers. A new Tactical Robbery Unit has allegedly made an impact in reducing the number of serious violent crimes within the city limits. While most violent crimes are down, homicides are on the rise due to gang violence and turf wars.
The department claims to have significant success in removing dangerous weapons from the streets. In comparison, 930 firearms have been taken off the streets as opposed to 601 weapons the previous year. Opponents of the new police chief are taking the opposite approach. They claim that the information laid out does not show the increase of certain offenses such as aggravated assault and theft. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement also took exception to the claim of the under-reporting of crimes. Despite the infighting, crimes will still be committed in the City of Miami and anyone charged with committing a crime should speak with a Miami criminal defense attorney regarding the defense of their case.
Crime is Down in Miami, The Miami Herald.com, January 8, 2011.