MIAMI BEACH (CBSMiami) — As thousands of people are expected to hit Miami Beach for holiday weekend festivities, law enforcement and city officials are preparing to keep it safe and enjoyable.READ MORE: Situation At Matheson Hammock Park In Miami-Dade Heats Up
“Everyone come out to Miami Beach and have a great time,” said Miami Beach Police Spokesman Ernesto Rodriguez. “What we do is ask everyone to respect the scene.”
The City of Miami Beach Police, Fire, and Emergency Management Departments have planned and staffed according to the needs of residents and visitors.
Police will be using license plate readers on the causeways to help with stolen car cases and other law enforcement violations. They will also have a DUI checkpoint set up on the eastbound lanes of MacArthur Causeway which may cause some traffic tie-ups.
Meantime, drivers may notice some closures in certain areas.
Starting Friday, Ocean Drive will be closed down to vehicular traffic. It will remain closed until Tuesday at 7 a.m.
To help alleviate traffic, starting at 7 p.m., drivers will only be able to drive North on Collins Avenue and South on Washington Avenue. That will remain in effect until Monday morning.
There will also be a change for drivers who use the Venetian Causeway. It will only be open to residents.
Safety preps for this Memorial Day weekend come after a police involved shooting in 2011 ended with the death of 22-year-old Raymond Herisse.READ MORE: FEMA-Funded South Florida Sites To Administer First Doses Of Pfizer Vaccines
Officers shot Herisse near Collins Avenue and 14th Street as he drove drunk through Collins Avenue, plowing into several cars and nearly running over several bicycle cops.
“His vehicle was shot at over 100 times and he died as a result,” said Herisse’s family attorney Marwan Porter.
In March, the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s office decided not to charge the 12 officers involved in the shooting saying they were “legally justified” in killing Herisse.
Most people that CBS 4 spoke with had not heard of the racist email scandal in the Miami Beach Police Department that led to the firing of one officer last week. But people told us they’re usually on guard at events like this one anyway.
“You never know what officers are thinking now because some do think they are above the law,” said Kiara Green, from Atlanta.
“You always want eyewitnesses no matter what happens,” said DJ Gruber, visiting from South Carolina. “You gotta be smart about it.”
Police say they do not expect any problems.
“I think it’s clear to the public the transparency of this department so we don’t anticipate any issues,” said Officer Rodrigues.
Visitors say neither do they.
“Everybody’s down here having a good time trying to enjoy the holiday weekend,” said Quanterrius Taylor, from Detroit.MORE NEWS: CVS, NAACP Team Up To Get COVID Vaccines To People Of Color In South Florida
For more information on Memorial Day Weekend preps and plans, click here.