MIAMI (CBSMiami) – As a troubling pattern of violent crime weighs down Miami Beach, city leaders called a special hearing Thursday to try to lift up residents.
“Our residents are fed up. They just think this area has become too much of a magnet for the kind of misbehavior that they don’t want to put up with and frankly makes them feel unsafe,” said Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber.READ MORE: New Daily Virus Cases In Florida Lowest Since July
Nerves are still frayed, just a little over two weeks after Colorado tourist, Dustin Wakefield, was gunned down in broad daylight at an Ocean Drive restaurant. The 21-year-old dad was shot several times, protecting his one-year-old son from a killer who confessed to the crime, saying he was high on psychedelic mushrooms.
“I cried. I literally cried,” said Steven Meiner, commissioner.
“I think it might have been the straw that broke the camel’s back. This problem has been getting progressively worse,” said Michael Gongora, commissionerREAD MORE: Spacex's 1st Tourists Homeward Bound After 3 Days In Orbit
The special hearing comes one week after Miami Beach’s City Manager Alina Hudak sent a letter to the commission outlining a plan of action.
That plan included adding 40 police officers to the hot spots in South Beach, as well as deploying 10 other Miami-Dade police officers to the entertainment district every weekend for the rest of the year.
“The message is we are a city of zero tolerance when it comes to crime. We want you to have fun, but follow the law,” said Gongora.
He called for the special hearing, along with Commissioner Meiner, who wants to see these three things happen right away: High-level police visibility on foot, zero tolerance and enforcing all the laws.MORE NEWS: Report: Miami-Dade School District Misused $6M For Driver’s Ed Programs
“We have a problem, and we need to face it and we need to fix it,” added Gongora.