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Peaceful march held in Miami-Dade as police encourage those who see something to say something

Local leaders and community members gather for peace march
Local leaders and community members gather for peace march

MIAMI – A spike in shootings across South Florida has not led to many arrests.

Wednesday night, the Miami-Dade Police Department, joined by several others from around South Florida, held a march for peace, encouraging members of the community to come forward and help bring justice.

The event is billed as a ‘gun violence peace march’ and it’s an opportunity for officers from the Miami-Dade Police Department to publicly join forces with members of the community.

“What this shows here is that it takes all of us to keep our community safe, not just law enforcement but the community as well,” said Miami-Dade Police Director Freddy Ramirez.

They marched about a mile and a half in the rain, from Ark of the City to Athalie Range Park in Miami.

“United we’re going to we’re going to get it done,” said City of Miami Police Chief Art Acevedo. “If we’re not united, if we’re not committed to one another, it’s going to be a long summer.”

The efforts are to help stop the silence surrounding crimes involving guns.

“We cannot take our community back until our community demands that we take the streets back,” said Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava.

Often times during these horrible crimes, children are caught in the middle.

“Thank God we haven’t had any major shootings since that initiative started,” said Chief Community Services Officer Morris Copeland.

Operation Summer Heat is that new 12-week initiative.

Nearly 200 handguns and rifles have been confiscated by Miami-Dade Police over the past two weeks.

Weapons that could have led to more deadly killings, like the crimes Local 10 News has profiled recently.

Cops have also made more than 400 felony arrests, and the department on Wednesday showed off some the ammo and drugs taken off the streets.

“We’re making sure we stop the bleeding, stop the shootings from happening right now, but we have not forgotten about the root causes of the shootings,” said Copeland.

The Peace & Prosperity Plan devotes millions of dollars to target the county’s vulnerable youth population.

Tactics were discussed late Wednesday afternoon at the county’s community relations board, where gun violence was a major topic.

As for a solution, some say residents have to fight just as hard as police to weed out the armed bad actors.

“We’re really tired of it and we know that if we work together, we can definitely mitigate and hopefully eradicate it from our community,” said Copeland.

About the Authors:

Terrell Forney joined Local 10 News in October 2005 as a general assignment reporter. He was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, but a desire to escape the harsh winters of the north brought him to South Florida.

Liane Morejon is an Emmy-winning reporter who joined the Local 10 News family in January 2010. Born and raised in Coral Gables, Liane has a unique perspective on covering news in her own backyard.