MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – City of Miami Beach officials declared a state of emergency on Monday and an upcoming curfew, bidding to curb violent incidents at spring break that saw five people wounded in two separate shootings.
Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber and City Manager Alina Hudak announced the emergency order at an afternoon news conference. It includes a curfew for the South Beach area that starts early Thursday after midnight and runs through the weekend.
The mayor said about 100 guns have been seized over the past four weeks, and several police officers have been injured while controlling the crowds.
“We can’t endure this anymore. We just simply can’t,” Gelber said. “This isn’t your father or your mother’s spring break. This is something wholly different.”
Gelber noted that the five people were shot over the weekend despite 371 police officers being deployed.
At the urging of some residents, city officials have been working in recent years to crack down on unruly behavior in South Beach. But efforts to curb the excessive drinking and violence have raised complaints about racism, classism and business practices.
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Spring Break in Fort Lauderdale has been pretty clam so far this year, especially when compared to the scene in Miami Beach.
So far during Spring Break, police officers in Fort Lauderdale have only made 14 arrests.
“Spring break. I’m here to have fun with my friends, chill, settle down,” said Hermish Adarkwaah, who is visiting South Florida from New York.
Restaurants were busy on Monday night, but even with the larger crowds, locals say it’s been pretty tame this year.
Some of the older readers might be remembering that years and years back, it was Ft Lauderdale the one city who had the reputation for wild Spring Breaks. Movies were made about the wild times and loads of fun being had alcohol to be consumed and being the times before AIDS, unlimited and unprotected sex.
So, what brought the change? The influence of Residents in both cases. Ft Lauderdale residents (over 400K of them) had enough of the craziness, elected like-minded people and put the screws on businesses catering to the wild kids while rolling out the red carpet to couples and families who just wanted to have a nice vacation time. That, of course did not stop the party crowd immediately and there was a transition period where hotels would overtly warn anybody who looked like students that they would be evicted at the first violation without any refunds to be had. As fare as I know, this is still the way they run during Spring Break and Lord knows I did my share of evictions when I worked in the area with the full backing of the corporation.
What happened in Miami Beach? My guess is that not enough people Pop 90K) cared initially at switching the city’s image from a vacation sport for old folks, Gay Clubs and Jewish Seniors warehousing to an Urban Music destination for certain weekends of the year which eventually extended to an almost 24/7/365 before they knew what was happening. And by the time things started to get out of control, the voice of the people simply could not match the taxable income from the invading crowds and thus the city council leaned heavy on the business side of the problem.
Now imagine having bought a very expensive apartment nearby Ocean Drive (Everything in Mimi Beach is near Ocean Drive) and having to live with this in different sizes all year long? And then realizing that unless you find an idiot or some corporate Rapper, you cannot move out because no sane person will want to live in that chaos.