FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – Celebration turned chaotic on Fort Lauderdale Beach last Memorial day as groups of young people made their way down A1A.
Fights broke out too at Fort Lauderdale Beach Park.
As the beach prepares for this year’s celebration, police are preparing too.
“There’s a certain group that comes in and causes disruptions. We’re definitely prepared to deal with that,” said Fort Lauderdale Police Chief Frank Adderley.
Skywatch towers are in place. There will also be live video feeds, undercover agents, K-9 dogs and lots of extra officers.
“We’re going to do everything we can to diffuse any potential situation so it doesn’t get out of hand and our main goal is to make sure everyone has a safe holiday weekend,” said Adderley.
This time, police are trying a new tool. It’s something that gives a little help from above and it’s called The God Squad.
“Faith has a way of calming us. All faiths represent a measure of peace, no matter what your faith is,” said Dr. Rosalind Osgood with the God Squad.
Dr. Osgood is the police Chaplin. She, along with 100 volunteers from area churches will fan out on the beach, hoping to spread a message of peace.
“Most of the time individuals respect and honor some type of faith principle. So it is our prayer that our presence will aid our brothers and sisters on the police department doing what they do in protecting and serving our community,” said Dr. Osgood.
Miami Beach has its own version of the God Squad. Police in Fort Lauderdale figure if it works there and it’s worth a try to keep a day of celebration festive.