Miami Beach Police are gearing up for another busy spring break weekend, as the mayor has promised a change in tactics with more officers on patrol.
Violence and rowdy behavior spread fast on Ocean Drive last weekend, with multiple videos of fights quickly making the rounds on social media. The viral videos sparked outrage and forced the city to hold an emergency meeting this week.
Mayor Dan Gelber has promised a step up in enforcement, with increased police staffing and some officers even donning riot gear.
"It is vital that our residents feel safe in our city — nothing is more important than preserving quality of life," Gelber said in a statement Thursday. "We also welcome all visitors as long as they follow our laws and respect our community. This is not a place where anything goes, and if that is their reason for coming here, they should go elsewhere."
Police staffing will be at "Alpha Bravo," their highest level, with an additional 80 Miami Beach officers and about 70 from other agencies.
Authorities will also be strictly enforcing open container and marijuana ordinances, and code enforcement will be cracking down on businesses and restaurants.
"I thank all of our law enforcement and first responders for working long, difficult days and nights to keep us safe and for exercising their best judgment under trying circumstances. We appreciate their service," Gelber said.