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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Miami-Dade Police Department received a federal grant to help them clean up their crime ridden Northside District.

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Thursday morning Congresswoman Frederica Wilson and county Mayor Carlos Gimenez presented MDPD Director J.D. Patterson with a check for a million dollars at the Northside District station on NW 81st Street.

“Hundreds of black men are slaughtered in this community every day and it has to stop,” said Wilson.

During the ceremony a crime happened only blocks away. Officers were responding to a drive-by shooting near a school. Fortunately, no one was hurt.

Wilson held a Town Hall meeting Thursday night at the Liberty Square Community Center where she listened to those who wanted to voice their concerns about crime in the area and what can be done to help.

“Northside has a unique problem. It has a unique challenge and that challenge is the criminal element that is here. If we can work together to identify and to deal with and address that criminal element through this effort, that’s a very positive thing,” said Miami-Dade Police Director J.D. Patterson.

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The grant money came from the U.S. Department of Justice. Wilson worked closely with the police department to secure the grant issued under the Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation Program (BCJI). The grant was given under one condition that it will stay in the district and not by used to buy guns or hire new officers.

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“This is much-needed funding that will support cross-sector partnerships and innovative strategies to tackle crime and violence in the Northside District,” said Wilson in a statement.

In 2013, the Northside District recorded nearly 50 murders and more than a thousand aggravated assaults.

“The reality is the Northside has a unique problem, unique challenges, challenges that if we work together as a community could be a positive thing,” said Patterson.

Miami-Dade County is one of 17 communities across the country to receive this type of funding under the U.S. Department of Justice BCJI Program.

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