MIAMI (CBSMiami)– Miami Police commanders told city commissioners on Thursday, what they’re doing to crack down on the problem of so-called “pop-up” clubs that have been the scene of shootings and other crimes in recent months.
Commander Lazaro Ferro briefed commissioners on “Operation Club Safe.” It’s a team effort by police, code enforcement, and zoning to tackle problems.
“We want to bring about safety to these establishments and to ensure they’re operating within the scope of their license,” said Ferro.
Commissioner Marc Sarnoff wants a comprehensive review of the city’s alcohol ordinance.
“We want to make sure a catering license is not misinterpreted as an all-night, all-weekend license which is really what the root cause of this problem,” said Sarnoff.
The problem was highlighted in the mass shooting that happened at “The Spot” several weeks back. This restaurant off NW 7th avenue was doubling as an unlicensed night club late at night and on weekends.
“People should know that there are establishments that are not following the law and that the police are going to crack down on them,” said Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado.
Commissioners were also shown a story by CBS4 Investigative Reporter Jim DeFede on the raid at the Wonderland Strip Club along Biscayne near 79th Street last month as an example of how the city is clamping down on illegal activity.
“We need to also incorporate other regulations in place to address the habitual businesses that break these rules and regulations,” said Ferro.
Commissioner Sarnoff said the area of most concern to city officials for the “pop-up” club problem is in the northern part of the city, he said, he is also concerned about loopholes in the law creating double standards that effect public safety.
“How can we require legitimate club owners to invest millions in fire walls and safety systems when these pop-up clubs don’t even have a fire extinguisher,” Sarnoff asked.
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