South Beach's signature bars may soon be required to have a mandatory cop after midnight.
The Miami Beach City Commission earlier this month unanimously agreed to a proposal requiring every bar along the South Beach corridor to have a police officer after midnight standing guard outside until closing time.
The measure requires a second vote in January before it can be passed officially, and some of the language in the proposal may be tweaked. But it has the support of a business group that represents the affected bars.
The officers will be primarily tasked with controlling crowds.
“Many of the businesses have asked for this,” Commissioner Ricky Arriola told the Miami Herald. “The extra police presence will not only help keep the public safe but also help the establishments disperse crowds."
Ceci Velasco, the Ocean Drive Association’s executive director, said businesses on Ocean Drive have been requesting off-duty officers for “the past few years” but high costs and other restrictions prevented them from hiring officers.
“We always thought it was a good idea,” Velasco said. “The ordinance creates a formula so it’s equitable.”