MIAMI BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - After a wild spring break in Miami Beach, which was marred by gun violence, the Miami Beach City Commission has decided to take proactive measures to prevent such incidents from happening in the future
“After the third weekend, which is the weekend I think everyone saw on the news, that’s the weekend we had shootings,” said Shirley Plantin, director of Miami-Dade Community Relations Board.
The commission has agreed to support several new initiatives during the peak weeks of spring break 2024, including a curfew in South Beach, the rollback of liquor sale hours during the month of March for on-and off-premises consumption, and negotiating a memorandum of understanding with the Florida Department of Transportation to shut down any of the city’s causeways once crowds reach certain predetermined capacity levels.
“It’s over. Spring break is over next year in Miami Beach,” said Miami Beach Vice Mayor Steven Meiner.
“I don’t care who our mayor is, I don’t care what commissioner it is. It could be God, you’re not stopping it,” said Miami Beach businessman Jorge Zubigaray, who owns Gulf Liquors.
He said he’s not going to war with Miami Beach, but he says if liquor store owners are going to be treated differently in an effort to prevent the violence that erupted this year, he’s ready for a fight.
“I’m OK when you do it to everyone,” he said, “but when doing it, not liquor stores alone. You’re going to so something to me? Do the same thing to Ocean Drive.”
Meiner said that commissioners already took the first steps, and that residents and business owners he’s talked to support it.
“On Monday, our commission voted to support secured perimeters around Ocean Drive, alcohol cutoff sales, we’re going to rollback the time and also curfews, and we’re going to that the second and third weeks of March next year,” Meiner said.
Commissioner Alex Fernandez, who sponsored a series of initiatives to end spring break, said in a news release that “the message is now loud and clear: Miami Beach has shut the door on spring break. Our spring break measures will be proactive, not reactive.”
In addition to these initiatives, the commission has also approved a resolution to establish a secure perimeter around Ocean Drive and Lummus park next year by activating the area with a private event. This move is aimed at providing a safer environment for residents, visitors and business owners in the area.
“Miami Beach is a world-class destination that values the quality of life for our residents, visitors and businesses,” Fernandez added. “Spring break no longer has a place in our city.”
The commission’s decision to take assertive measures comes after several gun violence incidents occurred during spring break, which raised concerns about the safety of the city’s residents, visitors and businesses.
Even with assistance from the Florida Highway Patrol and DUI checkpoints, there are only so much officials can do.
One member of the Central Record Bureau said it’s easier said than done.
“I’m not sure what steps they’re going to put in place,” said North Miami Beach Deputy Chief Ervens Ford. “I’m curious to see how, and I’m sure law enforcement will be dragged into it. We’re going to play a role into this.”
With these new initiatives, the commission hopes to prevent such incidents from happening again and provide a safer and more secure environment for all.
The commission still needs to work out on the particulars, which they will do during their next meeting.
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