Miami Beach braces for spring break weekend with ‘most bloodshed’: commissioner

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This particular weekend of the spring break season has seen the “most bloodshed” in previous years, a Miami Beach city commissioner said, and will be the true test of whether the city’s attempts to distance itself from co-ed chaos have truly worked. 

Gov. Ron DeSantis dispatched at least 140 state troopers and other resources, like drones and license plate readers, to Miami Beach and other popular beach towns in a pre-emptive strike against spring break-related crime, which officials are bracing for as St. Patrick’s Day weekend approaches.

The city is attempting to divorce itself from spring breakers after making 488 arrests, including 230 felonies – and two homicides – and seizing more than 105 firearms during last year’s March madness. 

Miami Beach Commissioner David Suarez told Lawrence Jones of “Fox & Friends” that he and his fellow commissioners “proactively reached out to Gov. DeSantis and said ‘Hey, instead of coming on the last weekend when there are no shootings, there are no stampedes, we want to be proactive.’”

MIAMI BEACH LAUNCHES ‘BREAKING UP WITH SPRING BREAK’ AD TO DISCOURAGE UNRULY TOURISTS

Algae on a Miami beach

Miami Beach City Commissioner David Suarez said that the community has seen a calmer season in light of a stricter approach to spring breakers. However, he said, this weekend has traditionally seen the “most bloodshed” in previous years, and will be a true test of whether the measures are really working. (Jeffrey Greenberg/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

Suarez said last year’s calamity “completely ruined [the city’s] brand as a city” and became a primary concern for voters in last year’s November elections. As a result, Miami Beach elected more conservative-leaning Mayor Steven Meiner and ousted former Mayor Dan Gelber. 

Spring break kicked off with a

Spring break kicked off with a “successful” first week in Fort Lauderdale after Miami Beach’s “breakup” with the annual March madness. (US Sun/Mega)

Former FBI agent, Miami Beach resident and Fox News contributor Nicole Parker told Jones that it makes a “world of difference” that this year’s new elected officials “back the blue” as the city battles spring break: 

“Who your mayor is and who your local leaders are make all the difference in the world how safe your city is,” Parker said on “Fox & Friends” Wednesday morning. “If you’re in law enforcement and your local officials do not let you enforce the laws and your hands are tied, you can expect crime, you can expect violence, you can expect problems.”

“Frankly, I think a lot of people’s jobs are on the line. They’re like, ‘If we have the same problems we’ve had the last several years, there will be a problem,'” she continued. “Everyone has stepped up to the line… and it’s been beautiful… We love having guests in Miami Beach. We love having people come and enjoy the beautiful beaches we have here. But trashing the city and forcing residents to have to leave during spring break because they don’t want to be here for it is unacceptable.”  

FLORIDA SPRING BREAK DRAWS MASSIVE CROWDS, BEACH BOXING MATCHES TO FORT LAUDERDALE

Nonresident towing rates of over $500, DUI checkpoints, restricted beach access, bag checks, curfews and a targeted ad campaign are among measures the typically quiet city has taken to keep things that way this spring. 

“This year we got it right and we are being proactive,” Suarez said. “The very first week we had FHP (Florida Highway Patrol), we had FWC (Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission), we had a Coast Guard… The reaction from our residents and voters have been 100 percent positive.”

FLORIDA SPRING BREAK HAS BEACH TOWNS BRACING FOR CROWDS AS MIAMI BEACH CRACKS DOWN

Jones said that although the response from most business owners in the city about the new measures had been positive, others were upset that a damper had been put on one of their busiest seasons of the year. 

“You know that’s understandable – when people run a business they’ve got to make money and spring break is a hot time to make money,” Parker said. “But frankly, as a former FBI agent and law enforcement officer, safety comes first and protecting the citizens comes first… There have been entirely too many shootings, too many deaths, and it has frankly ruined the brand of Miami Beach.”

Miami Beach police ask visitors to clear the streets at midnight on night 1 of the city's spring break curfew in Miami Beach, Florida on March 24, 2022.

Miami Beach police ask visitors to clear the streets at midnight for the city’s spring break curfew on March 24, 2022. (Michael Ruiz/Fox News Digital)

“I think that business owners, a lot of them actually welcome this because they know that the clientele coming in aren’t going to trash their hotels, they’re not going to trash their stores,” Parker said. “When people feel safe, it’s going to bring a different… group of individuals to celebrate spring break.” 

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“Breaking up with spring break, it’s worked and people are heading north,” Parker said. “I hope nothing bad happens, but this weekend is going to be the true test I believe.” 

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