MIAMI BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - Commissioners in Miami Beach are discussing the city’s troubling crime trend in and near the entertainment district at a special hearing.
Each commissioner at Thursday’s meeting stated their frustration with the crime and chaos that has residents living in fear for their safety.
Commissioners addressed the future of Ocean Drive and action needed to increase police visibility to deter and prevent crime.
“High-level visibility, police officers out on the street, interacting with the community,” said Commissioner Steven Meiner. “We have a very good police force. We need to do more; we can do it better.”
The meeting comes a week after Miami Beach City Manager Alina Hudak sent a letter to the commission outlining a plan that includes the following measures:
- Adding 40 police officers to the hot spots in South Beach.
- Ten additional Miami-Dade Police officers every weekend for the rest of 2021.
- Boosted Code Compliance staffing for enforcement of code offenses.
- Increased Park Ranger patrols around Ocean Drive.
“This year alone, we have arrested 3,154 people in South Beach, and 1,593 of these arrestees, more than half, were in just the tiny entertainment district,” said Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber.
Most recently, Dustin Wakefield, a young father visiting from out of town, was sitting at a restaurant on Ocean Drive with his wife and 1-year-old son when, police said, a man randomly shot him dead.
The suspect was later identified as 22-year-old Tamarius Blair Davis Jr.
As of 6 p.m. on Monday, the meeting was still ongoing.
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