Youth Crime Watch
Youth Crime Watch of Miami-Dade County (YCW) was founded in 1979 as a program of Citizens’ Crime Watch of Miami-Dade County. It is a youth crime prevention program available to all Miami-Dade County Public/Private Schools, grades K-12. YCW was established to help youth develop proactive strategies to create safe schools for all students. It is a school-wide extra-curricular program that functions as a club/group. YCW of Miami-Dade School Coordinators work with school officials (YCW School Advisors) and students to help each YCW Club/Group develop and tailor their program to meet the needs unique to their own school. YCW works very closely with the Miami-Dade Schools Police Department who funds part of the program. Starting a YCW program (club) in a school does not signal a problem. Instead, it seeks to prevent crime and violence from happening in the school’s environment. Youth Crime Watch encourages positive peer pressure among students to take pride in their school through its series of youth crime prevention training programs and action projects. The YCW program is structured to teach leadership skills to students who volunteer to learn about school safety. While they learn how to keep themselves safe, they also learn public speaking, critical thinking, leadership, and other skills that will serve them into their adult lives. This, in turn, reinforces their self-esteem and promotes positive involvement, again curbing misbehavior, crime and violence in the school. YCW School Coordinators are all certified (by the Florida Attorney General’s Office) crime prevention practitioners and are available to conduct YCW implementation trainings and youth crime prevention presentations. YCW of Miami-Dade Coordinators utilize a science-based youth crime prevention curriculum in conducting presentations & assemblies on a variety of topics including: reporting crimes, school violence prevention, bullying/cyberbullying prevention, personal safety, drug prevention, gun safety awareness, cybersafety, sexting prevention, among others. YCW also features McGruff the Crime Dog in many YCW Elementary School events. YCW serves close to 20,000 students on an annual basis via presentations, assemblies, and YCW club meetings. YCW also provides science-based effective crime prevention materials to school representatives and students so the education can be reinforced in classroom activities.