Miami leaders announce 50-year low in homicides

City also boasts 54-year low in serious crimes

MIAMI – The city of Miami's top cop and mayor came together Wednesday to make a historic announcement on crime. 

They took to Liberty Square to speak about the progress the department is making as the neighborhood is seeing its share of unsolved crimes. 

"I am excited to announce that we have reached a more than 50-year low in homicides. A 50-year low," Mayor Francis X. Suarez said. 

Last year, the city of Miami had the fewest homicides occur since 1967, and for a young mayor serving his first year, it was personal.

"I am 41, so this was literally the safest year in the city of Miami from the prospective of homicides in my entire lifetime," Suarez said. 

It was also a 54-year low in serious crimes. The city's police chief attributes a lot of that success to community policing.

"We have gone out and said, 'Please help us.' And that very simple concept of, 'We want to do a good job, please help us,' has really paid off because people have responded," police Chief Jorge Colina said. 

The city and department also responded with technology after a tragic quadruple shooting in Liberty Square.

"The second that we had those four people that were shot in Liberty Square, we immediately went out and got an emergency purchase order and installed 40 cameras," Colina said. "Last year at this time, we had about 15 functional cameras. Now we have about 165."

Liberty City resident Crystal Corner said she attributes an increase in police presence and better communication between the residents and police with lowering the crime rate.

Corner said the drop in crime has changed the lives of her and her children.

"More hope for them," she said. "Before, they didn't used to come outside. But now (that) the crime rate and crime in the area has dropped, they ask to go outside. They like to go outside now."