Murders in Miami-Dade County, with its 2.7 million residents, declined by more than 15 percent compared to the previous year, bucking a national trend in which more than a dozen cities the U.S. set all-time high murder rates, the Miami Herald reports. In 2021, the Miami-Dade County Medical Examiner’s Office recorded 245 homicides. That’s 45 fewer than the previous year, when law enforcement attributed much of a 15 percent uptick in homicides to the frustrations of being locked down during the pandemic. Some 188 of last year’s murders were from gunfire. Others came from stabbings, drownings, assault, even arson. University of Miami sociology chair and criminologist Alex Piquero noted that if you toss out 2020 as an aberration, Miami-Dade’s homicide rate is fairly consistent with previous years. Miami-Dade recorded 241 homicides in 2019.
Piquero said many big cities with high murder rates like Chicago and Philadelphia are just continuing a trend that began years ago. “Historically, high immigrant cities tend to have lower homicide rates. They don’t want to run afoul of the law, so they create buffers,” he said. “And there’s no doubt that getting guns off the street and violent people off the street had an effect on the low crime numbers.” Miami-Dade police attributed the drop in homicides to their strategic policing plan. During the seven months after the sixteen month crime wave in 2020, there were 3,741 arrests and 946 firearms were taken from the streets.