This past weekend we finally saw a change to Memorial Day Weekend, a time when historically many of our neighbors fled by the thousands to places other than their homes. After an increase in MDW arrests from 2015 to 2016, we saw almost a 50% decrease in incidents this year, albeit certain ones we did have were significant. I attribute the major decrease in criminal activity to the fine work of our law enforcement community coupled with the first formal community programming in at least 20 years during MDW.
The Air & Sea Show was a major success, with formal on-sand attendance in the tens of thousands. Many of those in attendance or viewing elsewhere were residents who finally opted to stay and even some skeptics who have now embraced the event moving forward. Along with the supporting votes of Commissioners Aleman, Arriola and Mayor Levine, I started the formal Air and Sea show conversation almost two years ago, and to see Miami Beach families watch a Stealth Bomber soar by made me proud to be both your Commissioner and an American. I pledge that as long as I serve in city hall I will push to make this event an annual celebration as well as any event that contributes to the quality of life, positive cultural experiences and/or safety of my constituents and law-abiding visitors. Herald coverage of the event can be found HERE.
And then Sunday night happened. A senseless murder over a parking spot occurred just blocks from my son’s bedroom window. As I was throughout the entire weekend, I was predictably boots on the ground and out working with law enforcement and city staff to ensure accurate and prompt information was communicated to the residents. This was one of many incidents that made the news this weekend, scouring the joy experienced by many while the sun was up.
Miami Beach residents are demanding that we change the narrative of Memorial Day Weekend from one of the shootings and hundreds of arrests to reflection and respect for those who have died to protect our freedoms. I hear them. While it is fresh in our minds I am going to do what I can to keep the criminal element out of our city, and not just during MDW. Whether or not someone dies or gets shot should not be a measure of success. As always, you know you can count on me to do what is right for our city and to put the resident quality of life and safety first, not just through empty rhetoric and fake hustle, but through real action.
Commissioner Michael Grieco