MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – The Miami-Dade Police Department is taking a major step in tackling juvenile violence with a new program called the Youth Outreach Unit.
A total of 25 police officers from the Northside and South Districts started training Wednesday to mentor juvenile offenders one on one. It's all part of a major effort to combat juvenile crime.
Youth offenders will be referred to the program by the courts.
"We are going to offer that child the resources that his family needs so that he or she has a chance (and) they would not be influenced by bad mentors," Miami-Dade police Assistant Director Freddy Ramirez said.
Y.O.U. aims to reduce the likelihood of young offenders becoming involved in criminal activity by partnering with other agencies to provide services to them and their families.
Officer Tiffany Rogers has been stationed at the Northside Station, which serves Liberty City, for 11 years.
Rogers said the children lost to violence hurts everyone and she is excited to get started with the program.
"It hurts. We are human (and) a lot of us we have kids -- we have older siblings," Rogers said. "It touches home for all of us. I want it to stop. It needs to stop."
Click here for more information about the Miami-Dade Police Department's programs for children.