Urban Beach Week kicks off on Miami Beach

Heavy police presence doesn't put damper on festivities


Urban Beach Week kicked into high gear Friday night as the first real night of partying brought out large crowds spending big money to play on the beach.

No sooner had the sun set when Ocean Drive came to life. Thousands took in the sights and sounds that make South Florida great.

Hundreds of officers are working 12-hour shifts to keep the peace on SoBe. A few were getting a little R&R themselves, staying at the posh SLS Hotel for free.

"They have been great. They've been protective and making sure everything is going the way it's supposed to go," said Walli Sesuber. "They have not been harassing. No, none of that."

In fact, you didn't have to walk too far to find police. Come the stroke of midnight, more than 600 officers were patrolling South Beach.

"Everybody is showing respect and it's lovely," said tourist Terrance Talifarro "I will be coming back here every single year."

However, for an unlucky few, their night came to an end early. A DUI checkpoint on the MacArthur Causeway nabbed a few drivers. Some of them had outstanding warrants, and others were drunk.

Despite the increased police and checkpoint to get in, you really couldn't ask for a better start to the holiday weekend.

"We're living it up, doing it big from New York," said Kina Matthews. "Channel 10 News, you all check us out."

As for overall beach arrests, Local 10's Carlos Suarez reports they're around the same number this time last year at 51.

READ: Memorial Day weekend traffic plan on South Beach

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