By Ted Scouten

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – It’s been a bloody beginning to 2021 in South Florida with around three dozen people shot in just 13 days in Miami-Dade and Broward.  In many cases multiple victims were caught in a hail of gunfire.

People at the Cordoba Court apartments in Opa-locka say they know about violence.

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“It’s the devil’s dungeon here,” said Sholanda Rivers with the Tenant Association.

Neighbors describe hearing gunfire around them. Two people were shot and killed there since Friday.

“There’s been an uptick in violence and most of it we know what’s going on, it’s poverty.  It’s economics,” said Daniella Pierre, president of the Miami-Dade branch of the NAACP. “They have failed to address the economic wellbeing of the black community.”

They’re calling for change and solutions.

“Violence is a choice one that we do not condone it. We denounce it.  We are asking every one of the community to take a stand against violence,” Pierre said.

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Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said a place to start looking for solutions is providing jobs and educational opportunities.

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“Certainly construction, we’re continuing to build. There’s lots and lots of opportunities for well-paying jobs, doesn’t require a college degree.  Apprenticeship programs are available for people who like to do things with their hands,” Mayor Levine Cava said.

Rev. Brian Denny said employment is a big issue, one he’s taking on.

“If you stop doing what you’re doing,” said Rev. Denny, “I will help you find a job that pays at least $40,000 a year.”

Lt. Nikeya Jenkins is with the Opa-Locka Police Department.

“We are fed up,” she said.

She’s urging the community to help fight crime by calling in tips and information.

“Whatever it is that we have to do to take back control of our community, of our city, that’s exactly what we are going to do,” said Lt. Jenkins. “I am telling you know, you can hear it from me, this is going to end!”

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Again, police say the public plays a big role in stopping the bloodshed by giving information.  You can do that anonymously by calling Crime Stoppers. In Miami-Dade, that number is (305) 471-TIPS and (954) 493-TIPS in Broward.

Ted Scouten