Miami Beach police impose new security measures for 'high impact' weekends
Measures inculde street closures, increased police presence
MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – Miami Beach police will heighten security along Ocean Drive during spring break, and other "high impact weekends," according to a memo released Monday.
This new plan comes after Miami Beach police responded to two shootings over the weekend, including one that killed Antoinne Decade, 20, along Ocean Drive and 10th Street.
Several spring breakers were arrested Friday night and crowds of spring breakers also left piles of plastic bottles, glass alcohol bottles, and other trash along the beach over the weekend.
The Miami Beach Police Department aims to improve security along Ocean Drive, Lummus Park and the beach, and will implement new rules that include closing Ocean Drive to all vehicles between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m., creating checkpoints to look for alcohol, and clearing crowds from the beach before sunset, the memo said.
Miami Beach police spokesman Ernesto Rodriguez said some of the measures outlined in the chief's memo are not new to weekends that are considered "high-impact."
READ: Full memo
Rodriguez also said the department was not caught off-guard by the crowds; police plan months in advance for spring break revelers who come to the city over a period of several weeks in the springs, he said.
The department, as outlined in the chief's memo, is now being more strategic about where their efforts and resources go, Rodriguez said.
His advice to crowds looking to have a good time: "Be responsible."
The Miami Beach police memo notes that additional security measures may be imposed if needed, including closing sidewalks cafes and liquor stores early, closing portions of Ocean Drive and other streets.
The following are the Miami Beach Police Department security measures:
· Police staffing will be significantly increased, with a particular focus on the area from Seventh Street to 11th Street and Ocean Drive.
· Ocean Drive will be closed to vehicular traffic between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. from Seventh Street to 11th Street.
· Large crowds will be cleared from the beaches before sunset and protect visitors and ensure the proper effective cleanup of trash.
· Checkpoints will be in place at entrances to prevent alcohol, Styrofoam and glass on the beach.
· Valet operations for clubs and businesses on Ocean Drive between Seventh and 11th street will be relocated to side streets between Ocean Drive and Collins Avenue.
· The Police Department will use license plate readers throughout the area to enhance the safety of the pedestrian and driving public.
· Code enforcement staff will be significantly increased to ensure that city ordinances pertaining to alcohol sales and public consumption are rigorously enforced.
· Goodwill Ambassadors will assist police throughout the weekend to to welcome and educate visitors about the rules and expectations of the city .
The measures will go into effect on Friday.
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