MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Encouraging signs of change and progress in Miami Beach after several tense and violent weeks.
There are now signs all over South Beach letting visitors know that law enforcement is out in full force and they will be arresting anyone breaking the law.READ MORE: Johnson & Johnson Single-Shot COVID-19 Vaccine Joining In The Fight Against Global Pandemic
“Credit to our police department and chief, we’ve really beefed up the presence,” said Miami Beach Vice Mayor Stephen Meiner.
Meiner said there is now a visible increase in law enforcement on South Beach – a change business owners are celebrating
“People were a little questioning whether they should come out at night time past 10 o’clock in the 11 o’clock because of what happened the other night,” said Jeffrey Holinka. “It’s helping. A lot of people are very comfortable. They’re enjoying themselves and they don’t have to feel like someone’s going to come up with a gun.”READ MORE: South Florida House Republicans Vote Against President Biden's $1.9 Trillion Pandemic Relief Package
Over the past weekend, officers made more than 100 arrest. Billy Ray Griffin, 38, was among them. He was arrested for having a high-power weapon, ammo, counterfeit money, marijuana and Viagra in his possession.
“I see the police out here on the street and it kind of makes me feel like I’m protected. I got my family out here with me, so I think the extra police definitely helps,” a restaurant patron said.
In a virtual town hall, Miami Beach Police Chief Rick Clements said their goal isn’t to just make arrests. He said it’s also about making sure residents and visitors are safe.
“In the long run, this is not just a police related issue to arrest your way out of something or to police our way out of something. It’s not always the best strategy,” he said.MORE NEWS: Trump A Dominant Force At Conservative Conference In Orlando
Officials added this is an ongoing process, because it will require adding officers and changing schedules.