ADT North Miami, Florida

North Miami – A Dangerous Place to Live
When people think of the greater Miami area, including North Miami, they think of gorgeous beaches, palm trees and sunshine. What most people don’t think of is gangs. North Miami has been struggling against competing, vicious gangs for many years. Some residents believe that it’s a losing battle. North Miami has a beautiful location on Biscayne Bay and is home to two university campuses and the largest urban park in Florida, Oleta River State Park. With only 60,000 residents, it is considered a suburb of Miami. Soldiers, Con Men and Hurricanes In the mid 1850s, settlers moved into the area, displacing the local Native Americans after the army cut a road south along the Florida coast. Military Trail remains today as a heavily-traveled north/south highway. Crops of all kinds flourished in the constant sunshine and frequent rains. Most residents were farmers until the infamous Florida land boom of the 1920s. Young families and retirees flooded into south Florida looking for a better life. Many succeeded in living their dream, but not all. For the first, but not the last time, North Miami was victimized by criminals. Con men traveled the U.S. selling land sight unseen, primarily to unsuspecting northerners. When they arrived, many found that the location of their new home in paradise was flooded, suitable only for fish and alligators. The Biscayne Canal was dug to dry out the flooded building lots. Unfortunately, the canal also dried out the farmlands which had been the backbone of the local economy, making farming no longer profitable. Cookie-cutter housing developments replaced the farms. The land boom burst after the catastrophic hurricane of September, 1926. Many northerners abandoned their homes and fled the area, but the locals persevered. After World War II ended in 1945, military veterans moved in with their young families. North Miami is Very Different From Miami and Not Doing as Well In later years, Haitians flooded into North Miami fleeing the poverty of their island home. Today, North Miami has a large population of Haitian-Americans. In the 2010 census, only 39% of the households were married couples living together. In more prosperous cities, there is usually a higher percentage of married couples. The median income for North Miami households in 2013 was $35,139.By comparison, the greater Miami metro region had a median 2013 household income of $46,946. This income was low enough for Miami to be named the second poorest of the nation’s 25 largest metro regions. North Miami is doing much worse. North Miami has distinctly different demographics than Miami. Only 35% of North Miami residents speak English as a native language. Creole French and Spanish are spoken by two-thirds of the population.Haitian-Americans constitute the second highest percentage of Haitians in any community in the U.S. at 33%.Black or African-Americans, including Haitians, total 59% of the residents.Hispanic residents constitute a much smaller percentage of the population than in Miami, 27% in North Miami vs. 65% in Miami. The Gangs Move In On a crime and safety scale of 1-100, with 100 being the safest, North Miami is rated as a dismal and frightening 6. In other words, 94% of all of the cities in the U.S. are safer to live in than North Miami. While tourists flock to Miami on a daily basis, North Miami doesn’t share in the almighty tourist dollar. What North Miami has far more than its share of is gangs. The North Miami governing body is fighting hard to combat the huge attraction that the gangs have for impoverished youth who feel alienated from the larger society. Gang members are arrested constantly and sent to prison, prime recruiting grounds for gangs. Many inmates join gangs in prison and are released as much more antisocial individuals than they were when they were convicted. Since 1991, about 256 different gangs have been identified in Miami-Dade County. There are currently estimated to be more than 70 active gangs in the region, including MS-13, NHP Bloods, Young Latin Organization and Savage City Gangsters. Gang members are responsible for a disproportionate share of the local crime, both directly and indirectly. The gangs fight viciously with each other, not caring if innocent people are killed and injured. They order members to commit crimes. Those addicted to the drugs sold by the gangs also commit crimes, primarily thefts and assaults. It’s a vicious cycle. Protect Yourself With a Home Alarm System In some places, burglaries are often committed by the kid down the street. That also happens in North Miami, except the kid could be an armed gang member. A gang member may not break in with the intention of harming someone, but they typically don’t care if someone is hurt or killed. Strong doors, deadbolts and a home alarm system that will immediately notify the police of a break-in are the best way to protect your family and possessions. A home alarm system that is professionally monitored 24/7 is the best choice. A self-monitored DIY alarm system is much better than doing nothing at all. However, it’s difficult to monitor your own alarm system 24/7. When choosing a home alarm system, at a minimum look for these features. Wireless systems are good for renters since they are easy to install and don’t require drilling holes.Monitoring can be accomplished with either a landline, broadband connection or cell phone uplink. Cellular is believed to be more reliable because the system cannot be disabled by cutting a phone line. Broadband monitoring is not as reliable as cellular, but is cheaper.Home automation allows many features of the home to be activated remotely.Security cameras are essential, including cameras placed outside the home.Glass break sensors notify you if someone breaks a window. Whenever possible, it’s better to prevent an intruder from getting in than to be forced to confront them inside the home. This is especially true in North Miami, where the intruder could be an armed gang member.