Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2008, $60,342)
The Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program (JAG) allows states, tribes, and local governments to support a broad range of activities to prevent and control crime based on their own local needs and conditions. Grant funds can be used for state and local initiatives, technical assistance, training, personnel, equipment, supplies, contractual support, and information systems for criminal justice for any one or more of the following purpose areas: 1) law enforcement programs; 2) prosecution and court programs; 3) prevention and education programs; 4) corrections and community corrections programs; 5) drug treatment programs; 6) planning, evaluation, and technology improvement programs; and 7) crime victim and witness programs (other than compensation).
The City of Miami Gardens will use its Fiscal Year 2008 JAG award in the amount of $60,342 to conduct one gang sweep each month for one year and to conduct three four-hour truancy sweeps each week for twenty-five weeks. The Gang Reduction Initiative Program (GRIP) will enable the Miami Gardens Police Department to continue to specifically address the issue of gang violence within the City.
The Miami Gardens Police Department has seen a dramatic increase in crimes committed by juveniles. It has been determined through exhausting and continuing investigations; the increase in crime from 2006 to 2008 is due to the recruitment of juveniles into gangs. The Gang Unit is working to eradicate the street gangs currently operating in the City of Miami Gardens. The unit intends to infiltrate, identify, and dismantle small fractions of would be gangs during this initiative. This will be accomplished by a variety of means including gathering intelligence and deploying resources to affected neighborhoods to focus on quality of life issues and criminal activity.
Another component of the plan is to utilize grant funds to conduct weekly truancy sweeps. The sweeps will be random in nature to avoid the juveniles detecting a pattern of police operation. A minimum of three sweeps conducted by two officers working four hours of overtime will supplement the routine function of the Operations Division. The intent of these sweeps will be to deter truancy and return juveniles to school instead of allowing them to roam neighborhoods aimlessly. Research and intelligence has found that many of the City's residential burglaries are committed by school age children who should have been in school and not on the street. Early intervention will hopefully allow the juveniles the opportunity to consider the consequences of not staying in school.