MIAMI BEACH (CBSMiami) – The Memorial Day holiday is right around the corner and Miami Beach police are stepping up efforts to keep the peace over the usually very, very busy weekend.

On Saturday, the police and the county’s Goodwill Ambassador Program offered specialized training to 200 Goodwill Ambassadors who are scheduled to work the beach over the holiday weekend.

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This year’s training covers human trafficking awareness, de-escalation techniques, and cultural awareness.

The Goodwill Ambassador Program is made up of volunteer county employees who work as ambassadors during large events, demonstrations, rallies, and elections.

In addition to the ambassadors, Miami Beach police plan to have extra officers on the streets.

“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,” said Miami Beach police chief Richard Clements.

The plan includes partnering with other law enforcement agencies to increase their police presence. Clements adds that’s just the beginning.

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“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.

The chief said in recent weeks, they’ve had a number of violent incidents on the beach. He chalked it up to people coming there from different parts of the country who seem to be more aggressive or a more confrontational attitude.

Wednesday night, CBS4 reporter Bobeth Yates and photojournalist Ebenezer Mends experienced 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

 

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.

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The Memorial Day holiday usually attracts more than 200,000 tourists to Miami Beach and other areas of the county.

CBSMiami.com Team