MIAMI (CBSMiami) – CBS4’s Hank Tester walked the beat with Miami police as they patrolled a neighborhood with a rough reputation.
Yet there’s new attention on Liberty City for a lot of positive reasons thanks in part to a certain Oscar-winning movie.
There’s no question, “Moonlight” put Liberty City on the worldwide map.
Tester met up with tourist from Switzerland who visited the heart of the rough and tumble, crime-plagued area north of Downtown Miami.
“I like it that the main character makes it, you know. He had so many things against him,” said Lisa Nada.
Daniel Mocombe, a Miami police resource officer, was born and raised in the area seen in the movie.
“I am sure a lot of these kids can relate to that. The bullying, not fitting in because you are different,” said Mocombe.
It’s tough growing up in Liberty City – an area that for year was a staple of the nightly TV news.
Mocombe does all he can to make sure the kids in the neighborhood have a chance at “making it” like in the movie.
“Believe it or not, crime has decreased in Model City the last two year,” he said.
Officer Mocombe says people are fed up and police have spent countless hours gaining trust especially with the young kids where trouble begins.
The Miami police chief set the course.
“He put emphasis on getting out the car to walk. Carry a football in your car. Talk to the kids. Show them you care,” Mocombe explained.
Mocombe knows every kid by name, their parents – slowly knocking down barriers, humanizing what cops do.
“Come out here and interact, walk the streets, come over here and talk to the kids. Build those relationships,” he said.