MIAMI BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - As Spring Break continues, city leaders are enforcing efforts to ensure crowd control in Miami Beach.
Officials have implemented an 8 p.m. curfew from Thursday through Sunday.
City leaders, police, residents and even some visitors hope this curfew will make their experience calmer than in weeks past. On Friday, crowds are noticeably lighter than last week, when thousands of spring breakers flooded the city’s streets.
“Of course, you come to Miami and you want to party and stay up late all night, but it is what it is,” said Ida Mabon, who is visiting from California. “Times are different, and you just kind of adjust.”
Visitors are now adjusting to a different Miami Beach experience than they expected.
“Oh, we like the curfew because we wanted a more peaceful beach,” said Vee from Maryland, who did not give her last name.
“And obviously no one is wearing masks, so you have everyone right next to each other, up on each other,” said Michael from Maryland.
City leaders and police are working to lessen the risk of COVID-19 spreading and violence breaking out by getting crowds off the streets.
“City of Miami Beach has declared a state of emergency from 8 o’ clock at night to 6 in the morning,” said the announcer as they drove through the beach. “You cannot be out here. Please return to your hotel rooms or wherever you’re staying.”
“We have so many police officers, we’ll arrest you,” said Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber. “We don’t want that behavior.”
City of Miami Mayor Francis Suarez will be monitoring the curfew’s effect on the mainland, should revelers move their party there.
“We will also not tolerate any kind of rowdy behavior, breaking personal property, hurting people, lawlessness,” he said. “That’s not going to be tolerated in the City of Miami.”
Miami Police said they have amplified their staffing to include street, bike and foot patrol officers.
“We brought in additional police officers to work this weekend,” Miami Deputy Police Chief Ronald Papier said.
Mabon and Larry Brooks are visiting from the Bay area and said the curfew did cause them to switch up their plans.
“It’s definitely worth it, because the crowds are really thick and people just don’t want to go home,” said Mabon.
The pair were on South Beach on Thursday night as police cleared the street.
“It didn’t really affect us too much. We went and had a couple drinks, we had some food and we still had an amazing time,” Brooks said. “It’s Miami, so I think regardless of whether you got to go in at 4 o’ clock, 3 o’ clock or 2 in the morning, you’re going to have a great time.”
Though police were able to get crowds out of the entertainment district by 8 p.m. last week, the crowds took to residential areas instead.
As a result, Miami Beach Police said they will have additional officers in those areas to prevent that from reoccurring.
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