Crime Prevention Spotlight
Solving Homicides with Trading Cards
Submitted by Lieutenant Olenka Ryan-Guerra of the Miami-Dade Police Department.
In November 2021, the Miami-Dade Police Department (MDPD) launched a unique initiative — distributing baseball-like trading cards to the community to help solve crimes.
Unlike traditional baseball cards, the featured pictures are not of professional athletes but of children killed by gunfire. Their cases remain unsolved, some having stumped detectives for more than five years. The front of the card contains the child’s picture, name, and date of birth. On the back is the case number, a unique quick response (QR) code, the Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers number, and a promise that anyone providing information will remain anonymous.
One card features Elijah, who was only 3 years old when gunmen with semiautomatic rifles pulled up to the front of the home his parents had rented for his birthday party and opened fire, shooting and killing him. Another has a picture of 8-year-old Jada, shot and killed in 2016 near her front porch while getting ready to go to the movies with her father.
Solving crimes requires help from the community, and MDPD detectives regularly engage the public to assist. Anyone with information on a case can help by simply scanning the QR code on the trading card with a mobile device. The code will pull up information on the homicide, usually accompanied by a video of a detective explaining the facts of the case.
Officers distribute the cards to their family and friends and residents of the community. Police also plan to place stickers with the same QR codes on business fronts and make the trading cards available at supermarkets, pharmacies, or anywhere else groups of people might gather. The MDPD hopes these cards will help lead to a break in unsolved cases, delivering justice for the lives lost.
“Anyone with information on a case can help by simply scanning the QR code on the trading card with a mobile device.”
Lieutenant Ryan-Guerra can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.