MIAMI BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) – Miami Beach city officials shared their concerns about recent violent crimes in the city and proposed rules for the upcoming spring break during a virtual meeting.
Officials said they expect about 10,000 visitors over the next several weeks and reiterated on Wednesday there is zero tolerance for unlawful behavior in their city, but they fear the crimes may worsen with spring break approaching.
“If you want to party without restrictions, then go somewhere else, go to Vegas,” City Manager Raul Aguila said. “It will not be tolerated. We will be taking a zero tolerance attitude towards that behavior.”
The discussion among city leaders comes after a triple shooting outside of The Licking on Washington Avenue and Eighth Street, a stabbing on Collins Avenue and 13th Street and other violent incidents.
Police made arrests after most of the events, but they are still searching for the accused gunman behind the shooting outside of The Licking. Officials have installed a new surveillance camera in the area following the Jan. 31 shooting.
On Wednesday, four people were arrested following a confrontation that was caught on video outside of the same restaurant.
“With all the crime that’s happened, all the challenges that happened over this time period, is from visitors — really as perpetrators — against other visitors, who are victims,” Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber said.
Officials plan to roll out the following proposed rules for spring break this year:
- Beach access will be restricted from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
- No alcohol, coolers or inflatables will be allowed on the beach.
- No tents or tables will be allowed.
- No dance or entertainment events will be allowed.
- Sidewalk cafe operations will close at midnight.
- Staffing for city and police will be increased.
“That’s 214 out-of-state residents, 29 firearms were seized,” Assistant Miami Beach Police Chief Raul Acosta said. “People come here armed, and that is a concern for the police department.”
The recent increase in crime led to an increased police presence in the city last weekend. Miami-Dade Police assisted Miami Beach Police officers patrolling the entertainment district, and they made over 100 arrests.
Miami Beach officers and officials alike are preparing for a six-week spring break season that will last until April.
“So, it’s an all hands on deck approach,” Miami Beach Police Chief Rick Clements said. “I think Monday through Thursday and Sunday, the number of officers that we have within a 24-hour period each day is 280 officers that are there within that 24-hour period. On Saturday, you have 360 officers, so everybody’s working.”
“We’re expecting the worst. We’re planning for that,” Miami Beach Police Deputy Chief Wayne Jones said. “We anticipate this being the largest and longest spring break we’ve seen.”
Police also suggested to close several roads during spring break, but commissioners continue discussing public safety in that meeting.
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