Monday, May 23, 2011

Miami Beach gets ready for Memorial Day crowds

UPDATED May 31, 2011: Miami Beach police have released arrest figures for the 2011 four-day Memorial Day weekend. Police made a total of 431 arrests this year: Sixty-six arrests were for felonies and 365 for misdemeanors. That's up from the 2010 weekend when police made 341 arrests.

The Miami Herald's David Smiley reports that Miami Beach officials are gearing up for the Memorial Day weekend crowds.
Beginning Thursday, Miami Beach will begin ramping up staffing levels.

Code enforcement officers will be out in large numbers, along with sanitation workers. And the city’s entire police force will work 12-hour shifts, aided by outside police agencies.

“It’s a tremendous, tremendous effort by our department,” Chief Carlos Noriega told commissioners this month. “An exhaustive effort.”

And expensive.

Last year, the city spent an estimated $1 million to handle the Memorial Day crowds, which typically begin arriving Thursday.
As in years past, the majority of the people who come here for the weekend will have a good time and go home with great memories.

But also, as in years past, a small percentage of visitors will push their luck and end up spending part of the weekend in a jail cell.

In the 10 years since visitors have been coming to Miami Beach for what's officially called Urban Beach Weekend, over 4,000 revelers have been arrested, hundreds of guns seized, and thousands of cars towed.

(Here are the Memorial Day arrest reports since 2001.)

But, if you follow a few simple rules, you'll have fun on the beach during the 3 or 4 days leading up to Memorial Day.

One of those rules? If you're driving down Ocean Drive with rap music blaring from you car; you'll probably definitely be stopped by the police.

Chris Rock has a simple tip on how to avoid that pitfall: "Turn that shit off!"

Here are some other tips from Chris Rock on how to avoid problems over the weekend - or worse yet - getting your ass kicked by Miami Beach's finest this weekend.

If you don't follow these tips; you'll probably be spending part of the weekend at the Gray Bar Hotel.  And you might also get your ass kicked!

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