MIAMI BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) – Police made over 100 arrests over the weekend in Miami Beach, including a man facing narcotics and gun possession charges, as investigators unveil a new surveillance camera near the scene of a recent shooting, and city officials discussed future options to crack down on crime.
Monday morning’s arrest of 38-year-old Billy Ray Griffin follows a busy weekend that saw an increased police presence in parts of the city.
Officials said Griffin was arrested for alleged narcotics-related offenses that include possession of a high-powered gun and ammo, counterfeit cash, marijuana and Viagra.
Miami Beach commissioners discussed the subject of securing the city during a virtual town hall held Monday evening.
“We clearly have an important problem,” said Miami Beach Commissioner Mark Samuelian.
A series of disturbing crimes in the area, most of them captured on surveillance or cellphone video, have prompted Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber and Police Chief Richard Clements to beef up patrols in the area with dozens of more police officers, including some from other agencies.
“We do want more police presence and enforcement. I was thrilled to see what our MBPD did this past weekend with Dade County,” said Samuelian.
Clements, who also took part in the virtual town hall, said the hope is that this week is better than the last few.
“We have officers that are going to be positioned in and around the city,” he said.
There’s a brand new City of Miami Beach surveillance camera in the Washington Ave median near the Licking restaurant, where 8 days ago, cops say a New Yorker—already w/a pending attempted murder case—allegedly shot 3 people, putting them in the hospital. He’s still wanted. @wsvn pic.twitter.com/2th8uTK8Sb
— Sheldon Fox-7 News (@fox_sheldon) February 9, 2021
Monday night, police confirmed they have installed a brand-new, city-issued surveillance camera in the median along Washington Avenue, across from The Licking Restaurant. Police said an altercation escalated into gunfire outside of the restaurant on Jan. 31, sending three people to the hospital.
Back on Friday, 7News cameras captured officers walking down Washington Avenue, hours after a 20-year-old Pennsylvania tourist was stabbed in the middle of 13th Street with a pair of scissors.
Twenty-seven-year-old Jasmine Bradley was arrested and charged with attempted murder in connection to the incident.
“I think what you could look forward to is for us to continue to surge our resources, including our foot patrols, particularly in our commercial districts like the former entertainment district,” said Samuelian.
“They will continue to push forward hard and making sure that message is out there,” said Clements. “We will use every tool possible to get that done.”
Participants in the virtual town hall said that the majority of the subjects who are arrested and the victims are visiting from out of town.
“The problem that we have is that we’re not policing the same people, the people who are coming to the area,” said Clements. “The problem that we have is that every weekend, it’s a different person.”
A larger police presence is expected to remain in parts on Miami Beach for at least the next few weeks leading to spring break.
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