Miami Beach police will deploy cameras on towers and vehicle license plate readers to watch pedestrian and automobile traffic in the South Beach area over Memorial Day weekend, officials say.
The cameras can see up to a mile, and plans are to deploy them on four towers in Miami Beach’s Lummus Park, on Collins Avenue and on the east end of the Lincoln Road Mall, according to police.
The license plate readers will record auto tags and be placed along the Julia Tuttle and MacArthur causeways to record vehicles as they drive into South Beach, police say. Police plan to use the licenses plate data to identify vehicles with expired registrations, stolen cars and other violations, as well as vehicle owners who have outstanding warrants.
The cameras, license plate readers and other security enhancements—including checkpoints, limited egress on certain streets and a heavy police presence in public areas—are being implemented because South Beach has grown as a Memorial Day weekend party destination, according to police.
The new surveillance equipment should enable police to quickly catch or deter “troublemakers,” said Capt. Henry Doce, who for the past three years has led police preparations for the holiday weekend. Since 2001, crowds have descended on South Beach for not only the clubs, but also for the very popular street parties that occur on Ocean Drive and Collins Avenue. In addition, records show that two-thirds of those who are arrested are not Miami Beach natives, but most hail from around the state.