A violent weekend on #SouthBeach captured on videos that have gone viral on social media has prompted Miami Beach officials to hold an emergency meeting to address the #SpringBreak chaos.
Miami Beach Mayor #DanGelber had to hold an emergency city commission meeting today in an effort to restore order amid spring break chaos, according to @wsvn.
Gelber released a statement that said more action needs to be taken to address the influx of visitors for the remaining spring break season in the area. Gelber has officially ordered a crackdown after videos of the violence and chaos on South Beach have made their rounds on social media.
“They’re gonna be waves of police (officers) walking on the beach, especially in the areas where we think there’s a lot of alcohol and drug use, and say, ‘Look. You gotta quit that,’” Gelber said.
The amount of people visiting this year for spring break is reported to be at least a third more than 2018. Officials said close to 100 arrest have been made since the spring break festivities popped up.
“I think we wanted to send a message that the kind of behavior we’re seeing, even if it’s intermittent, cannot be tolerated,” Gelber said. “People have to know when they come to our beaches that you can’t get liquored up, you can’t get high, you can’t go on Ocean Drive and decide you’re going to stampede or get in fights. That’s just absolutely unacceptable.”
Commissioners talked about safety, traffic and quality of life during the meeting.
Among the challenges the city faces throughout the spring break season include the unpredictability of crowd sizes, the promotion of events on the beach through social media and that the crowds are formed by local residents as well.
“It’s just this little area of the entertainment district which attracts these large parties that becomes like an anything goes area, and it’s up to us to put a stop to it,” Gelber said.
Miami Beach Police officials said they will be doing more with new enforcement on the beach.
“It’s almost a full Memorial Day planning in regards to the traffic, the exclusion zones, the no parking on Collins Avenue. All of those things are new. We haven’t done those before for spring break,” said Miami Beach Police Chief Dan Oates.
Over the weekend 11 college students were arrested. The spring break festivities have resulted in a total of 97 arrests so far, most of them for narcotics and disorderly conduct.
“I want people who are thinking about coming here to know that this is not a city where anything goes. If you do something wrong, you’re going to go to jail, and that’s just the way it is. It’s not fair to our residents. It’s not fair to our visitors. It’s not fair to bystanders to allow that behavior to happen,” Gelber said.