MIAMI BEACH (CBSMiami) – Miami Beach and parts of Miami will be flooded with visitors Memorial Day Weekend as part of the 12th annual Urban Beach Week, and to ease possible rough spots between residents and visitors, Miami-Dade has it’s own flood of goodwill ambassadors who have the assignment of keeping the weekend safe and fun for everyone.

The program was started 10 years ago, after the huge crowds attracted by what was then known as “Hip Hop Weekend” angered and intimidated residents, and led to what many called excessive police response and hundreds of arrests.

The Goodwill Ambassador Program, initiated by Miami-Dade’s Office of Community Advocacy, was started to ease friction between the two groups. It brings local volunteers together to work alongside police to provide information and directions to visitors, as well maintain crowd control.

Crowd control  is critical, as tourism officials are predicting about 300 thousand people are expected to come to Miami Beach this weekend. The Goodwill Ambassadors will help them with information while reducing tensions between partygoers, residents, and police.

The largest impact the Goodwill Ambassadors have had is in the area of arrests.5 years ago, Miami Beach police and other agencies arrested over 1 thousand visitors, mostly young and black, resulting in charges of racism.

5 Years later,with more than twice the Ambassadors on  the street, the arrests memorial day weekend had been cut by 2 thirds.

250 ambassadors, all wearing red shirts, will be on the street over the course of the weekend from Thursday through the end of the Memorial Day holiday Monday.

Comments (4)
  1. PhoneBill says:

    “a…rrested over 1 thousand visitors, mostly young and black, resulting in charges of racism.”

    REALLY? What is the predominant demographic category in attendence at the Hip Hop/Urband weekend? If those arrested WEREN’T mostly black I’d be worried.

    Break the law, get arrested, regardless of color. Plain and simple.

    By the way, there is NO boogie man, stop looking.

  2. Jane Doe says:

    If people acted civilized then they would not have to worry no matter what race or ethnicity they are. You don’t have as many arrests at Calle Ocho and I don’t think they have Goodwill Ambassadors either.

  3. SAVAGE HATER says:

    Every year we have Winter Music Conference and have pretty much the same amount of people as Memorial Day weekend does .. YET Miami Beach has no arrest numbers like the numbers that are produced for Memorial Day (HIP HOP) Weekend. Shootings, Fights, Disorderly Conduct.. nothing that “normal” tourists come on vacation to Miami Beach cause or be a part of, yet these HIP HOP Savages come and destroy South Beach for 3..4 days ..Businesses Close Down just to not deal with this weekend .. Residents flee Miami Beach to go to Key West or Fort Lauderdale for the Weekend.. just to get away from the out of control Hip Hoppers that destroy this beautiful beach community..

  4. Lcy11 says:

    @ savage hater…Um..yeah… that usually happens with bored, drunk crowds that have nothing to do. Would you pay 250 dollars get into a nightclub? How about $100 for valet parking? Memorial Day weekend is a Cash cow for the city of Miami Beach. maybe sponsoring an event or two would curb all the murder and the mayhem and the destruction that you talk about. I live in SOBE and the “aftermath” is not as terrible as you make it out to be. If you don’t like tourists, I suggest you leave Miami Beach.

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