A change in policing to “flood the streets” with officers last weekend led to a total of 41 various citations and warnings to juveniles, according to statistics from the Key Biscayne Police Department.
Interim Manager Charles Press, who is poised to return to his police chief role this week, said the staff reallocation allowed officers to react to what he said was a “cat and mouse game” with youth.
Reacting to an uptick in youth crime, police assigned extra patrol units on Friday and Saturday night. A KBPD police vehicle was stationed in the center of the Village Green most of the evening and other marked and unmarked vehicles made frequent patrols both nights.
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Most areas looked quiet compared to large crowds of juveniles on previous weekends, with the exception of about five aerial fireworks that were fired around 12:20 early Saturday morning. They appeared to have been launched from the southwest quadrant of the island.
Notably, in the last weekend alone, officers issued almost as many curfew violations as they did in the previous four months.
But the effort involved more than just writing citations. At times, officers could be seen engaging what looked like long, one-on-one conversations with Village teens.
“When the opportunity presents itself, our officers have the time to engage,” Press said.
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Here is a tally of activity Friday and Saturday nights, according to police:
|Last Weekend||Previous 4 months|
|Juvenile Golf Cart Citations||13||52|
|Juvenile Golf Cart Warnings||9||16|
|Juvenile Tresspass Warnings||4||50|
|Juvenile Bicycle Citations||0||6|
|Juvenile Bicycle Warning||2||5|
|Juvenile Criminal Citations||0||1|
|Juvenile Curfew Violations||13||15|
|Area Checks/Park and Walks||32||1,009|
You can hear more about the Village’s policing plan on our podcast here.
Tony Winton is the editor-in-chief of the Key Biscayne Independent and president of Miami Fourth Estate, Inc. He worked previously at The Associated Press for three decades winning multiple Edward R. Murrow awards. He was president of the News Media Guild, a journalism union, for 10 years. Born in Chicago, he is a graduate of Columbia University. His interests are photography and technology, sailing, cooking, and science fiction.