Miami Beach

Miami Beach cop union president: 2 a.m. Ocean Drive liquor stop is ‘misguided.’

Should alcohol sales on Ocean Drive stop at 2 a.m.?

Tourists and residents give their opinions about Miami Beach's new alcohol legislations on Saturday, July 23, 2017. The city is considering cutting off alcohol at Ocean Drive clubs after 2 a.m.
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Tourists and residents give their opinions about Miami Beach's new alcohol legislations on Saturday, July 23, 2017. The city is considering cutting off alcohol at Ocean Drive clubs after 2 a.m.

Proponents of halting liquor sales on South Beach’s Ocean Drive at 2 a.m. claim it’s a way to kneecap Miami Beach crime, particularly south of 41st Street.

The head of the union representing Miami Beach police officers, Miami Beach Fraternal Order of Police President Bobby Jenkins, disagreed in a statement released Tuesday morning.

“The ordinance proposed to ban liquor sales on Ocean Drive at 2 a.m. is another example of how our City’s leadership has failed to have meaningful conversations with our law enforcement officer around the issues that are actually driving the illicit behavior and criminal activity on the strip,” Jenkins staement began.

“Our experience patrolling South Beach on the nightly basis tells us that other allowances, such as the decriminalization of marijuana and access to liquor stores until the late night hours, are directly responsible for creating the anything goes environment that we are currently experiencing. This effort to ban liquor sales on Ocean Drive is not only misguided, but will prove to be ineffective and an economic blow to the city.”

Shortening of alcohol hours and the accompanying earlier closing hours could also be a personal economic blow to individual officers in Jenkins’ union. Less overtime and off-duty work would be available to officers.

Miami Beach voters will decide the ordinance’s fate in early voting, which began last week, and Election Day, Nov. 7.

David J. Neal: 305-376-3559, @DavidJNeal

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