South Florida

Miami Beach Police Abandons Policy Informing Colleges About Student Arrests

The Miami Beach Police Department is now reversing a policy concerning college students spending their spring break in South Florida.

An internal memo revealed that if a student got in trouble or arrested in Miami Beach, officers would notify their schools.

The department's policy also directed officers to include whether the student was on spring break and the name of the college or university they attend in arrest reports.

Some students, and even city leaders, disagreed with the policy.

"I came out here so I could be away from the school, I don't want to come back to more trouble," student Rich Emden said.

Chief Daniel Oates said in a statement Thursday that the department sent six letters to university presidents and Greek letter organizations to encourage holding their students accountable. A letter to Norfolk State University identified a student who was arrested. 

"My intent was to inform the respective universities of the behavior of their students in our community, behavior that they certainly wouldn’t tolerate on their campus," Oates said.

Oates said after receiving pushback from city leaders who said the policy was unfair and potentially damaging to students, the department reversed the policy.

"This was certainly never our intention," Oates said. "The intended purpose of this method was to work closer with the universities to encourage their support and guidance with their students to ensure their proper behavior when on spring break."

Oates said they will stop sending letters but still have the same expectations that students should adhere to the law and will be held accountable.

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