The crime rate in Fort Lauderdale has its’ ups and downs, but one constant seems to be that the Fort Lauderdale neighborhood of South Middle River, (west of Fort Lauderdale High School to Powerline Road, and from Sunrise Boulevard north to the City line) always has the most crime of any neighborhood in the City.
Though many efforts, by both residents and the City have taken place over the years, to try and change the high crime in this neighborhood - nothing much has changed.
Last years’ 2011 crime statistics show South Middle River with the most crime again, and again with substantially more crime than most all the other neighborhoods. The 2012 stats are generally following in the same path as 2011.
South Middle River 2011
Total Part I Crimes - 530
Percentage increase over 2001 – 46%
Home Burglaries – 274
Robberies – 71 ( there were also 71 robberies in 2001)
Just for a comparison, here’s the crime picture of a few of our safest neighborhoods –
Idlewyld - ( at the Las Olas bridge) Total Part I Crimes – 5
Bal Harbor – ( the City Manager lives there)- Total Part I Crimes – 1
Nurmi Isles – ( Commissioner Rodstrom lives there) – Total Part I Crimes – 5
Golden Isles – ( Northwest neighborhood!) – Total Part I Crimes – 14
Here are some of the built in problems that South Middle River has –
Crescent House – home for delinquents ( one resident has rap sheet of 58 felonies)
– many poorly supervised teens ( home of the street riots!)
- very diverse population with little connectivity
Overload of SSRF’s, ( Social Service Residential Facilities) SSF, Section 8, and group homes-
( Food Not Bombs House pictured above)
Something needs to be done. The living conditions for the residents in South Middle River are unacceptable, and the amount of City resources poured into this deep hole should make the rest of you angry! Here’s a plan I dreamed up, needs some major tweaking I’m sure, but
something needs to be done!
….. An experimental 90 – day Operation, starting October 1st, and ending on New Years Day (hopefully you get the significance!).
The idea is for the law-abiding people to regain control of the neighborhood, sending the criminal element away ( to another City/County /State/Prison – whatever)
elements of the plan
1.) A rented temporary 6 foot chain link fence to be erected on most
of the streets leading into and out of SMR, from building face to
building face (paid for by SMR Association, and the 13th Street Alliance, etc.)
Signs on the fencing will explain that those streets will not be
used for entry during Operation Eradication, and that violators will be
punished. False cameras will be erected at each site. Daily, different
members of SMR will inspect the integrity of the fences and report any
ruptures to the fence fixer squad. (made up of volunteers of the City’s Citizen Volunteer Core etc.). The supplies to fix any intrusions will be paid for by SMR or the 13th Street Alliance etc.
2.) FLPD Patrol ( at least two cars at all times)
will patrol inside the perimeter fencing. The Officers will be equipped
with cell phones ( paid for by the neighborhoods), and will answer
calls from residents inside the perimeter with any suspicious activity. Additionally, the FLPD Mounted Unit, K9, Tac, SWAT, and other FLPD specialty squads will be asked to spend some time inside the neighborhood during the Operation.
Other FLPD actions will be underway, built on the Department’s
Intelligent Policing program, including, but not limited to, gang
control, illegal drug enforcement, unregistered bicycle enforcement etc.
All other available Police resources ( the Monster, Mobile Command Unit, View Tower, spare police cars etc. will be kept inside the perimeter during the operation.the neighborhood.
ALL buildings inside the Perimeter will be given a
booklet, authored and delivered by South Middle River organizations,
explaining the Operation, how they can call in suspicious activity, and
what their responsibilities are during the Operation.
3.) Each weekend during the 90 days, a clean-up/paint project will
take place on Saturday, and/or Sunday. The paint will come gratis from
the City, and the labor will be done by the neighborhood, boosted by
other various outside neighborhoods, civic and social groups, churches,
synagogues, the Fort Lauderdale Council of Civic Associations
etc. The City will maintain a dumpster in an open lot inside the
perimeter for any and all refuse found around the neighborhood during
4.) Code Enforcement will continue their stepped up enforcement of derelict buildings, and a NO TOLERANCE policy will go in force for open and abandoned homes, which will have to be boarded or re-boarded within 24 hours.
5.) Each Sunday afternoon, a picnic ( neighbors meeting neighbors)
will be held in different quadrants of the neighborhood. They will be
sponsored by each quadrants’ leaders, and City officials will be
expected to attend and give updates on the progress during the
6.) All crimes committed during the Operation will be posted
outside, on a public board, in the same lot where the City dumpster is
maintained, with a plea for information about the crime ( with possible
7.) A temporary curfew will be set, ( and rules publicly posted)
for the duration of the operation, for all youth under 18, from 11 pm to
6 am, unless they are going to or from school or work. Additionally,
any youth suspended or expelled from school will be curfewed during the
daytime hours associated with the school hours.
8.) Neighborhood leaders and City officials will meet at the end of
each month during the Operation, to see if any adjustments need to be made
to the Operation.
Suggested starting date – October 1st!
Any other ideas? ….. Tim