MIAMI BEACH (CBSMiami) – Fewer and calmer crowds on Miami Beach for the annual Urban Beach weekend has translated into fewer arrests, according to Miami Beach Police.
In years past, hundreds of thousands of party-goers flocked to South Beach for events that started Thursday night but this year, the size of the crowds eased slightly.
“It’s 50% less arrests, our calls for service are also down and it appears to be a lot less busier this year than in years past,” said Sgt. Bobby Hernandez with the Miami Beach Police Department.
According to Miami Beach Police, a total of 191 people were arrested from Thursday evening through early Monday, May 26th.
That’s compared to 414 total arrests in 2013. Prior to that, there were 373 arrests in 2012, 431 arrests in 2011 and 361 arrests in 2010.
“These arrests were basically disorderly intoxications, minor drug sales, DUI, the typical crimes you find in any party town,” Sgt. Hernandez added.
Of those 191 arrests this past weekend, 41 were felonies, such as aggravated assault, aggravated battery, robbery, drugs and battery on a police officer.
In 2013, the number of felonies was 73.
The number of misdemeanors fell significantly as well this weekend.
In 2014, misdemeanor arrests totaled 150 compared to 341 the previous year.
The only number that increased year over year was the number of citations given. That went up from 1,054 to 1,138.
Miami Beach police have made their presence known on South Beach by using a new mobile command center located at 5th and Ocean Drive.
Throughout the weekend, about 600 officers kept an eye on the crowds. They had cameras, lights, and helicopters and patrolled on foot bikes and ATVs. Most visitors saw pros and cons to the heavy police presence.
“Lot of police, a lot of police, lot of road blocks,” said Matthew Carter, who was visiting from Atlanta. “Four-years ago it was not this bad lot more easy lot more accessible it did feel a lot more safe a lot more safe.”
“I think there were too many, personally,” Matthew Brown said about the number of police, but added the officers did serve an important role.
“It kept people in check for the most part.”
Traffic continues to be rerouted until Tuesday morning and officers on bikes, golf carts and motorcycles have been used to control crowds.
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