Miami-Dade County

Miami-Dade Community Relations Board Talks Formula One, Elections Security

The board meets regularly and acts as a liaison between communities, local governments and police departments

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The Miami-Dade Community Relations Board met this week with Formula One racing and elections security on the agenda.

The board meets regularly and acts as a liaison between communities, local governments and police departments.

Wednesday’s meeting was held at the Miami Shores Police Department and saw representatives from area police departments, the public defender’s office and the county mayor's office.

The Miami Grand Prix, to be held over Mother’s Day Weekend in the streets just outside Hard Rock Stadium, got attention with some residents still expressing concern over the race.

Former State Legislator Roy Hardemon was at the meeting, talking about how people living near the stadium fear their street parties will be shut down during the events.

Permits to party, he says, are the issue.

"I have been to the police department to try and obtain these permits, they just don’t give it to them," he said. "So when the police officer out on the street comes, you ain’t got the permit, now you’ve got to fight with them."

Formula One cars are some of the fastest in the world, reaching speeds close to 200 MPH. And the races are world famous.

This will be the first ever Formula One race in Miami and the exposure will be tremendous, with the race televised internationally.

Several hundred thousand people will go to the track over the weekend for practice, qualifying and the race.

People who live near Hard Rock anticipate noise from loud race cars, traffic jamming up their streets, and general congestion.

Miami Gardens Police officials said if people party properly, nobody will be shut down.

"If they follow the procedure and make sure they do the proper permitting, then we won’t shut it down,” said Deputy Police Chief Ricky Carter.

Another topic of discussion was Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis' new Office of Election Crimes and Security.

DeSantis, a Republican, proposed the need for an election police unit last year, citing unspecified allegations of fraud.

Members of the CRB heard concerns over how the new state elections police force will work with local law enforcement.

“We are still waiting for confirmation, we are still waiting to see what steps are going to be taken,” said North Miami Deputy Police Chief Ervens Ford.

Democrats call the bill politically motivated, unnecessary and they insist statistics back their position.

In Florida, more than 11 million people voted in the 2020 presidential election. The Secretary of State received 262 fraud complaints, and 75 were deemed credible.

Despite those rare instances, DeSantis touts the measure.

“You compare us to some of these other states, we did a better job, but there is a lot that needs to be addressed,” DeSantis said at the bill signing ceremony. "So we weren’t going to just sit there and say 'oh yeah, we have got everything figured out' because there was more to do in the state of Florida."

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