Faced with nearly a dozen incidents involving juveniles in June, the Town of Miami Police Department will launch its first annual “Beat the Heat with the Miami Police” program next month.
“We have come together to set forth a few weeks to sit down and interact with the youth of the Town of Miami and surrounding communities,” said Christine J. Duarte, department manager/system security supervisor.
Setting aside Tuesdays and Thursdays in July, the police will offer fun activities, which Duarte describes as “positive interaction with the police and other town employees by spending time with the children.”
Since June 9, the police department has worked on 10 criminal juvenile cases, she told Globe Miami Times.
The police have contacted 11 juveniles and issued referrals to juvenile probation—five for trespassing, two for rock throwing, two for criminal damage and two for curfew violation, she said.
The new youth program is set to begin Tuesday, July 2.
Before attending any function, children who want to participate must bring a parent or guardian to sign a permission form and a waiver, to the Miami Police Department, 500 W. Sullivan St.
The July program schedule is as follows:
- Tuesday, July 2, 5-7 p.m. Sign up, introduction and decorating for the Fourth of July parade.
- Thursday, July 4, 8-10 a.m. Fourth of July parade.
- Tuesday, July 9, 8 a.m. to noon. Breakfast with the Miami Chief of Police Keith Thompson. Open discussion on bullying followed by painting rocks.
- Thursday, July 11 and 18, 10 a.m. to noon. Sullivan Street cleanup.
- Tuesday, July 16, 4-7 p.m. Open discussion on destruction and graffitti of personal property, followed by painting the bridge on Forest Avenue between Highway 60 and Sullivan Street.
- Tuesday, July 23, 9 a.m.to noon. Open discussion on 9-1-1 and Stranger Danger, followed by a walk to the Miami Memorial Public Library.
- Thursday, July 25, the 2019 Beat the Heat program will close with a pizza party and awards presentation.
The police department will give free pool passes to all youths participating in the program who attend at least one full week, Duarte said.
On June 17, Thompson established a strict curfew for youth under the age of 18.
On Sunday through Thursday, curfew is from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. the following day and on Friday and Saturday, from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. the following day.
Outside these hours, all youths must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
Any child cited for curfew violations must appear before the Miami Magistrate Judge along with their parent or guardian, and the judge will determine punishment.
If a juvenile is caught out after curfew, they will be brought to the police department, where the parent or guardian will have to pick them up.
If the juvenile is given a citation, both parent and child will have to sign it.
If police decide to give a referral to juvenile probation, neither will have to sign.
Instead, the police will forward all reports and photos to juvenile probation who will determine the next step, Duarte said.
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