Miami Beach

Miami Beach Police Shifting Tactics After Spring Break Chaos

Another chaotic spring break in Miami Beach has prompted police to beef up law enforcement patrols as the vacation season continues.

The latest incidents came Tuesday morning when a lifeguard stand caught fire and all equipment inside was destroyed near 69th Street and Ocean Drive - though police have not said if anyone was involved or if it was a equipment issue - as well as an incident inside of a Collins Avenue lounge that sent one man to the hospital and had another being questioned by police.

In an internal email obtained by NBC 6, Deputy Chief Richard Clements acknowledged last weekend's challenges, saying they underestimated crowd size and that there were only 250 Miami Beach officers working in a 24-hour period.

"In short, there were times this weekend where additional personnel were needed to further enhance our efforts," Clements said.

The many fights, stampedes and violence that were documented and posted on social media has residents and even Commisioner Michael Gongora livid and raising questions about police response.

"I'm concerned because my residents are concerned," Gongora said. "There's bad images out there on social media. Women getting punched in the face, fights breaking out ... that is not the image and reputation of our city."

In the same email, Clements says the department plans to add more police presence and that this is now an "all hands on deck" situation going into next weekend.

On Tuesday there will be an emergency meeting and two other meetings Miami Beach residents are invited to attend. The police department and the city declined to provide statements Monday.

"We have a lot of officers out there being paid overtime, so we knew what was coming," Gongora said. "Just don't think the plan we had was necessarily the best plan."

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