MIAMI BEACH (CBS4) – Urban Beach Week is winding down on Miami Beach.
Police have been out in full force throughout the long holiday weekend and they say so far everything has gone as expected.
“It’s more calm and relaxed, it’s not all that hype so this year, it’s like we can actually enjoy Memorial Day weekend. Last year you had to watch out for your life,” said “Precious”.
Thousands packed Ocean Drive for the popular annual event but the crowd seemed to have turned it down a notch this year.
“I did hear before I got here that it was unsafe and that it was kind of rowdy,” said a tourist. “I do agree that it’s a little rowdy but I do feel safe. It’s police everywhere and I haven’t seen a fight.”
So far there have been around 340 arrests since Thursday, most alcohol and drug related, which is in line with last year; but police said that they have had less calls for service.
“Calls for service, we cannot manipulate those calls, either they call for help or they don’t call for help. As of yesterday we’ve gotten 100 calls and we’re expecting about 200 today when the numbers come in, less calls for police service,” said Sergeant Bobby Hernandez with Miami Beach Police. “That’s 200 less victims, that’s 200 people that didn’t need our assistance and that’s something that we’re proud of.”
Residents of Miami Beach have even grown to love the weekend party.
“As a resident, this time, I really like it,” said Sage Hoffman of Miami Beach. “I haven’t experienced anything bad.”
However, business owners said that this year things are more sluggish but it’s a tradeoff that they will take anyday.
“It’s been a little slow this year, but it’s also been a little bit safer,” said manager Aden Emmanuel.
Tourists said that they are enjoying but there was one problem that they weren’t aware of
“Some consume a little too much libations, some don’t consume enough,” said a tourist. “That’s the problem, so tonight I’ll try to do a shot with a police officer to even things out.”
The police presence and road closures will be in effect until Tuesday. Ocean Drive remains closed to traffic and a traffic loop will be in effect from 7 p.m. to 7a.m. – all traffic on Collins Avenue will be diverted North while all traffic on Washington Avenue will be directed South.