Commission meets in Miami Beach as crime continues picking up ahead of spring break

“The vast majority of these incidents are visitor on visitor,” said Miami Beach City Commissioner Mark Samuelian. “The problem that we have is that we’re not policing the same people.”

February 8, 2021 | Local10.com | Commission meets in Miami Beach as crime continues picking up ahead of spring break

Miami Beach Continues to Wrestle with its South Beach Entertainment District

In a special meeting to discuss proposals to fix what Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber calls the “anything goes” atmosphere in the City’s South Beach Entertainment District, Commissioner Mark Samuelian summed up the discussion with the word “frustrating.” After praising the City’s Police Department for its work and efforts to increase enforcement, all of the Commissioners expressed a desire to step it up.

Commissioner Mark Samuelian said he agrees with the enforcement push, but he said the area needs more. Referencing the entire package of what Gelber calls “carrots and sticks” – measures that include development incentives, repealing the noise exemption, tying alcohol and entertainment licenses to Conditional Use Permits, and increased penalties for bad operators, Samuelian said, “As I think about the problem, my approach to the solution… is all of the above. I think we need to use all of the tools. I don’t think it’s just an enforcement issue. I don’t it’s just a noise issue. I think we need every tool, and the risk is not doing enough.”

He emphasized the “challenges” with police visibility, noting resident observations as well as his own. “We need to raise the game in terms of visibility” but he underscored a comment the Police Chief made about the impact on other neighborhoods when resources are diverted to the MXE and the movement of crime out of the Entertainment District into nearby areas as a result of increased enforcement in the MXE. Clements said MBPD has seen increased problems on Collins Avenue recently.

Samuelian said he was happy to hear the Administration was giving consideration to not renewing sidewalk café permits at the end of the year for bad operators. Reiterating that the permits are “a privilege, not a right,” he said, “It seems like we just have a hard time reining in this bad behavior despite the legislation that we’ve put forward” in the past few years. “I really hope we can do a better job reining in these bad operators and not giving them the opportunity to make money on the public right of way.”

December 5, 2020 | RE:Miami Beach | Miami Beach Continues to Wrestle with its South Beach Entertainment District

Crime in Miami Beach: Is Perception Reality?

Commissioner Mark Samuelian said, “First, I believe that this perception of increased crime – and I think we’re all on the same page – is a serious concern. People have to feel safe and we’re getting more of this than we like. That’s why we need to do something and I think what the Chief laid out is a potential path forward.”

He acknowledged the UCR crime data which consists of victim reported violent crimes is down double digits, a rate that is “almost identical to Miami and Florida.” While he said, “one is too many,” he noted the “serious reported crimes are down but we’re also hearing more from the community.”

“I think the focus on the Entertainment District and Ocean Drive is appropriate,” Samuelian said. He echoed Rosen Gonzalez that he didn’t want to take officers from other areas but said, “I like many of the ideas that I heard.”

November 3, 2018 | RE: Miami Beach | Crime in Miami Beach: Is Perception Reality?

Amid complaints about drug dealing, Commissioner gets tough with Police Chief

Commissioner Mark Samuelian said, “Public safety is job one.” Noting the Commission has committed additional resources, he said, “Obviously, what I’m hearing is a concern and I look forward to continuing the discussion and specific policy ideas of how we address it.” Whether it’s additional funding, changes in the traffic or pedestrian environment, he said, “I’m open to ideas but this is top priority.”

September 28, 2018 | RE: Miami Beach | Amid complaints about drug dealing, Commissioner gets tough with Police Chief

More Police Officers for Ocean Drive

Resolution sponsor, Commissioner Mark Samuelian said, “It’s a wonderful collaborative opportunity with the Ocean Drive Association.” He told his colleagues the action will be easily measured in terms of its impact on crime and the willingness of the business community to continue to pay for the additional officers.

May 19, 2018 | RE: Miami Beach | More Police Officers for Ocean Drive