MBPD reverses policy to notify schools of student arrests

Susan Askew
Susan Askew

MBPD reverses policy to notify schools of student arrests:

Enforcement and marketing campaign will continue

The message from Miami Beach Police to spring breakers this year has been a firm one… starting with letters to colleges and universities in the Fall letting them know what the rules are and that they would be enforced. It was followed by a tough marketing campaign to get students to think about the consequences of their actions which could include arrests for breaking the law, but a policy to notify schools of those arrests raised eyebrows and, ultimately, led to a reversal.
 
Here’s the full statement from Police Chief Dan Oates:
 
“As many of you know, this year the CMB decided to engage in an extensive campaign to educate prospective Spring Breakers of our desire that they behave properly when visiting Miami Beach. This included a media campaign in different markets and letters to university presidents and Greek letter organizations. Recently we had also directed our police officers that when completing their arrest report, they should also obtain information as to whether the person was on spring break and what school they attend. My intent was to inform the respective universities of the behavior of their students in our community, behavior that they certainly wouldn’t tolerate on their campus. To date 6 such letters have been sent. 

“I have now had the opportunity to consult with leaders in the community and am aware that this is being perceived as unfair and perhaps unnecessarily damaging to students. This was certainly never our intention. The intended purpose of this method was to work closer with the Universities to encourage their support and guidance with their students to ensure their proper behavior when on Spring Break. 

“In light of the concerns and feedback we have received, moving forward we have decided that we will not be including this information in the arrest reports or sending it to the Universities. We remain steadfast in our commitment to diligently enforce the laws during spring break, and we will continue to communicate that message.”
 

Photo courtesy Logan Fazio: Spring Break 2019, Lummus Park

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