Miami Beach

Miami Beach to crack down on Ocean Drive for ‘high impact’ weekends

Two Ocean Drive shootings marred last weekend on Miami Beach.
Two Ocean Drive shootings marred last weekend on Miami Beach.

With shots fired on Ocean Drive twice last weekend and spring breakers combined with causeway-crossing Ultra-goers this weekend, Miami Beach’s police chief mapped out “high-impact weekend” procedures in a memo to the city manager.

Several of the measures in the memo from Police Chief Daniel Oates to City Manager Jimmy Morales focus on the Ocean Drive blocks between 7th and and 11th streets. That area includes South Beach icons News Cafe and the Clevelander.

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Last weekend, that also included the shooting death of 20-year-old Antoinne Decade, an incident of shots fired without anyone being hit, and a spring breaker blob expanding to overflowing proportions such that part of Ocean Drive got shut down last Friday.

For “high impact weekends” that area will be closed to cars from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m.. The area also will be the prime focus of a police staffing increase and have the valet operations moved to the side streets.

Checkpoints will try to prevent alcohol, glass and styrofoam on the beach sands. Police will clear large crowds from there before sunset.

The stated focus of a larger code enforcement staff will be making sure alcohol sales and public alcohol consumption obey Miami Beach law. Miami Beach residents long have wished for a harsher enforcement of the city’s noise laws, but the memo didn’t mention that.

The memo doesn’t rule out closing sidewalk cafes and package liquor stores early or shutting down more streets, including larger sections of Ocean Drive.

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

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