Is Florida a Safe Spring Break Destination?

Savannah Forkey, Staff Reporter

Thousands of people across the United States, specifically students, spend the months after Christmas looking forward to one thing, Spring Break. One of the most popular destinations for these students and their families is Florida. However, over the last three years, Miami Beach, a popular spring break destination, has seen an increase in violence and chaos because of all the students there on break.

Miami Beach has had large and unruly crowds for nearly a month. A little over a week ago there were two people killed in two separate shootings over the course of a 72 hour period. After these shootings occurred, the area declared a state of emergency and had a temporary curfew for nearly a week.

This region does have a significant police presence and has implemented more and more rules to try to manage crowds. Despite these efforts, the violence continues.

From February 27 to March 27 police reportedly arrested 488 people and impounded a total of 105 firearms. City leaders anticipate that coming years could be even more deadly and difficult to manage. Because of this they are taking steps to “cancel spring break” and deter large crowds.

These steps may be a bit extreme, but city officials believe that it may be the only way to keep people safe. Mayor Dan Gelber is hoping to make Miami Beach a less attractive spring break destination. He plans to do this by instituting curfews on specific weekends that are typically very rowdy as well as shutting down liquor sales early next March. They also plan to have more ticketed events which will mean more security and metal detectors.

Many of these measures have yet to be put in place, but city officials seem to be willing to follow through on these plans. Their hope is that even just the idea of these extreme measures will hopefully lead people to take the party somewhere else.