Miami-Dade police reports ‘significant increase’ in gun violence this year in northside district

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – It’s only March, and there is already an uptick in gun violence in northern Miami-Dade County.

Miami-Dade Police Department Maj. Shawn C. Browne met with sub-committee members of the Miami-Dade County Community Relations Board on Wednesday.

The board has executive, nominating, quality of life, and the criminal justice and law enforcement committees.

Browne, who joined the department when he was 20 years old, leads the MDPD Northside District Station in West Little River. The station covers an area within Northwest 20th Street to the north, Northwest 135th Street to the south, Interstate 95 to the east, and the Seaboard Coast Line Railroad to the west.

“This year we saw a significant increase in gun violence,” Browne said, adding that he attributes it in part to frustrations over the coronavirus pandemic. “I guess people are just angry because of the pandemic loss of jobs. It’s a combination of a lot of things.”

Browne reported the northside district area had 21 shootings in January and 14 shootings in February.

He also said there have been seven shootings in March so far.

Browne said the department launched a new initiative in early February to step up their presence in “hot spot areas” and to get involved in more community outreach, which he said has proven effective before.

Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava used Zoom to join the meeting.

She said Miami-Dade County is working to improve the conditions that make neighborhoods unsafe.

“I will be rolling out my Office of Neighborhood Safety as well to address these things more systemically,” Levine Cava said.

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