Youth Crime Watch

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Youth Crime Watch of Miami- Dade County (YCW)

Written by: Joel Mesa, FCPP Education Director


McGruff with the children of  MDCPS Primary Learning Center #2

An educational program established to foster a safe school environment impacting student well-being through awareness & involvement Youth Crime Watch of Miami-Dade County (YCW) was founded in 1979 as a program of Citizens’ Crime Watch of Miami-Dade County. It is an educational program established to foster a safe school environment impacting student well-being through awareness and involvement. It is a prevention program available to all Miami-Dade County Public Schools, grades K-12.

YCW was established to help youth develop proactive strategies to create safe schools for all students. It is a school-wide extra- curricular program that functions as a club/group. YCW of Miami-Dade County School Coordinators work with school officials (YCW School Advisors) and students to help each YCW Club/Group develop and tailor their program to meet the needs unique to their own school. YCW works very closely with the Miami-Dade Schools Police Department. Starting a YCW program in a school does not signal a problem. Instead, it seeks to prevent crime and violence from happening in the school’s environment.

Youth Crime Watch encourages positive peer pressure among students to take pride in their school through its series of crime prevention training programs and action projects. The YCW program is structured to teach leadership skills to students who volunteer to learn about school safety. While they learn how to keep themselves safe, they also learn public speaking, critical thinking, leadership, and other skills that will serve them into their adult lives. This, in turn, reinforces their self-esteem and promotes positive involvement, again curbing misbehavior, crime and violence in the school.

Youth Crime Watch of Miami-Dade County School Coordinators are all certified crime prevention practitioners and are available to conduct YCW implementation trainings and crime prevention presentations. YCW of Miami-Dade Coordinators utilize a science-based youth crime prevention curriculum in conducting presentations & assemblies on a variety of topics including: reporting crimes, bullying/cyberbullying prevention, personal safety, drug prevention, school violence prevention, school safety, gun safety awareness, anger management, character education, sexing prevention, among others.

Program Goals

•Encourage students to report crimes observed in and around the school, thereby discouraging criminal activity.

•Develop and implement safety skills for a safe learning environment.

•Make students aware of the different avenues available in crime prevention.

•Educate students on various topics in the field of crime prevention.

•Educate students regarding the consequences of crime, and how it affects them directly.

•Educate students on taking a proactive action against bullying.

•Promote communication skills and leadership qualities in students.

•Bring students, teachers, administrators, and school resource officers closer together, thus developing and strengthening the bond of trust.

YCW also features McGruff The Crime Dog in many YCW Elementary School events, serving close to 30,000 students on an annual basis via presentations, assemblies, and YCW club meetings. Also provides science-based effective crime prevention materials (brochures, activity booklets, coloring books, and informational books) to schoolrepresentatives and students so the education can be reinforced in classroom activities, etc. YCW Weekly Award recipients (students, advisors, schools, school resource officers) are recognized each week. YCW of Miami-Dade County also provides crime prevention educational services on a request basis from Miami-Dade regional libraries,summer camps, county conferences/summits, and many other county and statewide agencies.


For more information on Youth Crime Watch of Miami-Dade County visit or call 305.468.1302 

Citizens’ Crime Watch of Miami-Dade County is funded by the Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners and the Miami-Dade County Public School Board.