Coffee with the Community: Midtown Doral Residents expose cases of crime.


 By: Diana Bello Aristizábal


Para leer en Español

Feeling safe in their residential buildings is one of the aspirations of Doral inhabitants. For this reason, in the last ‘Coffee with the Community’ organized by this publication, some members of the community expressed their concerns regarding cases of crime that have recently occurred in associations.

Those who attended the event, including representatives of the community, the local government, and the Doral Police, discussed the thefts that Midtown Doral residents have been victims of. This apartment complex is located at 107 Avenue and 74th Street and integrated by four buildings.

They also expressed their discomfort around the use of marijuana on the balconies of the apartments and in the parking lots, some of which are intended for visitors to the commercial premises that are in the immediate vicinity of the community while others are exclusively for residents.

“Recently, we have been experiencing a significant increase in motorcycle and car theft. Even weeks ago, a vehicle had all four tires removed,” says Janisse Dujarric, a Midtown 3 resident and member of the Board of Compliance.

She stated thefts are taking place in the residential parking lots that are located on the top floors, and young people have been seen smoking marijuana in the parking lot of the second floor.

About these problems, Dujarric says she has not obtained a clear response from the community’s master. “I do not feel safe here. I understand that we have a 24-hour security system for all four buildings, but it doesn’t seem like it. As a result of the situation, they put cameras on the first two floors, although not in the residential parking lots.”

This concern is shared by Fernando Da Silva, owner of Midtown 2 and 3, president of Midtown 2 board, and treasurer of Midtown 3 and 4, for whom the problem lies in the fact that the parking spaces available for the four buildings are fully open, which means that anyone can access them.

Fernando, whose motorcycle was stolen inside one of the parking lots, believes that crime rates are increasing in the city, despite acknowledging that the Doral Police is doing an intense job to attack the problem. In his opinion, it is necessary to strengthen security and act now to prevent crime from escalating further.

“Perhaps the population has increased more in comparison with the increase of the police force. I understand the new administration is concerned about improving the conditions of the Police, and obviously, they need to have all the tools to act. However, I also understand what it means for a resident to have their vehicle stolen because I experienced it firsthand,” he says.

Regarding the drug problem, Janisse is trying to make it prohibited to smoke marijuana on the balconies. “These are public spaces for private use.” She says consumption has become excessive, affecting more than twenty parents who cannot go out to play on their balconies or on the first floor with their children due to the strong odor. “What message are we sending to young people who pass by the area? I think this is getting out of hand.”

Maria B. Semidey, another Midtown resident, agreed with her neighbors’ view. “This is common in an area like Wynwood, but not in Doral, which is a family community.”

Edwin López, Chief of the Doral Police, explains that special units will be created to fight against these scourges. “We are going to create one that will focus on theft and looting of vehicles, and another one on drug use. In addition, we are working towards opening more vacancies within the Police and on extending officers’ shifts so that there is more police presence on the streets.”

However, it urges citizens to properly lock their vehicles, join the Connect Doral program through which communities can request that their cameras be monitored by the police command center, and to the ‘Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design’, a program that allows Police officers to visit buildings in order to assess their security system and provide recommendations in this regard.

Lastly, Rafael Pineyro, Doral Vice Mayor, offered some peace of mind to the attendees by revealing that the budget for the fiscal year will soon be discussed in which the priority will be the Police Department. “We are going to continue working so that Doral is a safe and family-friendly city and to collaborate together with the associations to enforce the laws and to make sure they have full support from the administration,” he concludes.




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