Fort Lauderdale

Miami Beach Police Cracking Down on Spring Break Chaos

Commissioners held a special meeting Tuesday to discuss beefing up police presence

Miami Beach is adding dozens of additional officers this weekend as the city vows to crack down on out of control spring breakers.

Commissioners held a special meeting Tuesday to discuss beefing up its police presence following an increase in traffic and multiple brawls and other incidents that were caught on camera and posted on social media. In addition to the increased officers, police will be more strictly enforcing some city ordinances concerning drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana in public.

"These young people are very sophisticated," Police Chief Daniel Oates said. "Even though we have had, we have, checkpoints on the beach, they find a way. And what will be different this weekend is that we will go in there." 

Officials said it has been hard to enforce open container laws when hundreds of people are on the beach drinking alcohol. Officers have shied away from making some open container arrests but enforcement is expected to be stricter moving forward.

"This is not a kind of tourism that I think that we need," Commissioner John Elizabeth Alemán said. "I think the conversation might have been more difficult for Fort Lauderdale back in the day because their economy was very dependent on spring break. I think we're much more resilient than that, I think we can do without this." 

In an internal email obtained by NBC 6, Miami Beach Police 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.

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