MIAMI BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - Miami Beach business owners are calling for change after, they said, brawls on the beach are reaching an all time high.
Despite city leaders saying that crime on the beach is actually down, business owners, such as the owner of Sherbrooke Hotel, Mitch Novick, told the city’s Community Affairs Committee that the quality of life on the beach has hit a sour note. “The noise from the establishments on Ocean Drive, which is the fuel and that attracts all the riffraff to our community,” said Novick.
The vice president of the Clevelander South Beach Hotel and Bar, Mike Palma, is also concerned about crime. However, he said, the businesses are not the problem. “They’re not showing up in our businesses,” he said. “The issue is outside the businesses, and we need to make sure that is very clear with the commission and this community.”
Several Ocean Drive cafes have pooled money to pay for police overtime. “If you are standing at the corner of X and Y, and there is a police officer there, nothing is going to happen. But the problem is that we can’t have a police officer on every corner … or can we?” said City of Miami Beach Commissioner Michael Grieco.
The Neighborhood Community Affairs Committee is planning to take proposals for more officers on patrol. “I have the utmost respect for the men and women in our police department,” said Novick.
However, Novick believes, to prevent displays of violence, the focus shouldn’t be on police, but instead on not attracting troublemakers. Novick also wants zoning changes to get rid of business practices that he believes are causing the problem.
Commissioners are more focused on community policing and the number of officers on the streets, issues which, they said, they plan to address in the next budget.
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