MIAMI BEACH (CBSMiami) – Safety and security remain a huge focus on Miami Beach and to insure that continues police are already looking ahead to Memorial Day weekend.
“What we have seen with people who have come here from different parts of the country, there seems to be more aggression or a more confrontational attitude,” said Miami Beach police chief Richard Clements.READ MORE: Royal Caribbean's 'Freedom Of The Seas' Completes Simulated Cruise, Returns To PortMiami
Clements adds the change isn’t just on the beach, he said police departments all across the country dealing are with similar issues of people who are much angrier.
Wednesday night, CBS4 reporter Bobeth Yates and photojournalist Ebenezer Mends experiencef that aggression first hand when they were attacked while working on a story about efforts to cut down on violence.
WATCH: Bobeth Yates report on attack
“It’s bad enough when they do it to us, when we’re just there trying to do our best to keep them safe and healthy, but when they start turning it to people like yourself, or our hotelers, or the restaurant industry, and for that matter even our residents, it’s even more alarming,” Clements told Yates.
Two arrests were made in that attack.
With Memorial Day weekend just around the corner, Clements says they are not just preparing for more people with pent-up aggression from the pandemic but for larger than normal crowds to descend to the beach.READ MORE: Coral Gables Man Refuses To Sell Family House Swallowed By Massive Development
“All of our officers will be working 24 hours a day for the entire duration of the weekend. We will have enhanced staffing on Thursday and Monday and the focus on that will be really making sure everyone is safe and number two that they get home safely,” Clements added.
That plan includes partnering with other law enforcement agencies to increase their police presence. Clements adds that’s just the beginning.
“We will have units that are monitoring not only the causeway but the 5th Street corridor. We will also have units on Collins Avenue and Washington Avenue and we will be having strict traffic enforcement. We’ll also set up green zones around the neighborhoods with residential areas,” said Clements.
Officials aren’t just waiting for the holiday weekend. Wednesday the city’s commission voted to push up the last call for alcohol from 5 a.m. to 2 a.m., a measure Clements said is necessary to curb the bad behavior.
“I support the commission’s directive. Something has to be done to facilitate the message that certain types of behavior that we have been seeing, not only for the last couple of months but really for the last year, has the stop,” he said.
Tourists CBS4 spoke to said they are already seeing the police efforts
“I feel happy and content,” said one tourist.
“Generally, yeah I feel safe,” echoed another.MORE NEWS: Postal Worker Shot At In Florida City; Suspect In Custody
“I feel like there’s a lot of police in the area so I’m don’t think I’m in any immediate danger,” added Karina Heilbron another tourist.