Item Coversheet



TO: Neighborhood and Quality of Life Committee Members

Alina T. Hudak, City Manager

DATE: May 19, 2021



On January 26, 2021, the SOBESafe organization issued a resolution urging the City of Miami Beach to enact procedures that would enhance the visibility and expeditious implementation of technology initiatives in support of public safety.

Two processes were highlighted in the resolution:

1. Prepare a 90-day short-term incremental, innovation plan to pick the low-hanging fruit. This plan will cover only those innovations that are not part of the City’s current operations, but which will produce meaningful results, and which meet four other criteria:


  • relatively modest incremental resources
  • currently available technology
  • can be done entirely on authority that resides with the City
  • realizable within 90 days from the time the plan is finished

2. Document and report regularly and publicly on all current and currently approved security implementations pertaining to cameras, real-time monitoring, and street lighting, including those that extend beyond the 90-day window, in the form of a dashboard. This would describe the activity, the originally planned timeline and current status, and issues that are preventing successful outcomes.

The item was subsequently heard briefly at the at the February 24, 2021 Neighborhood and Quality of Life Committee (NQLC) meeting and deferred to be discussed more substantially during the March 22, 2021 NQLC meeting where Commissioners requested additional information related to challenges in lighting in Lummus Park, the use of technology in the Art Deco Cultural District (ADCD), and how both affect policing practices.


Lighting has improved in many areas of South Beach but remains a challenge in certain parts of the ADCD namely the 500 Block to 1600 Block of Collins Avenue. Cognizant of the difficulties of balancing safety with appropriate lighting in Lummus Park and the surrounding area to protect the sea turtle population, the Miami Beach Police Department (MBPD) has been mitigating these challenges as best as possible. The Department has utilized portable light towers at specific hot spots to increase visibility which provide situational awareness information for officers patrolling these areas. The Department understands that the issues are being addressed on Collins Avenue by the Public Works Department in conjunction with the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) as part of planned improvements to the light heads as reported in City meetings over the past months. MBPD trusts that once these improvements are completed and implemented, they will have a lasting positive impact leaving very few if any remaining gaps in lighting to address.

With regards to the use of technology, the Department is highly invested in technology and systems to increase situational awareness and operational efficiency. There are dozens of closed-circuit television (CCTV) camera projects currently underway in many of the City’s parks, the Beachwalk, major roadways, homeowner association guardhouses, City buildings and offices, and public facilities, among others. All the City cameras are fed into a citywide video management system (VMS) operated by the Department. These cameras are used daily by detectives and crime analysts to help understand crime scenes, identify and locate suspects, solve crimes and make arrests, and assist in prosecutions thus providing better service to citizens and increasing officer safety.

The Department feels that the current technology and projects underway to enhance equipment and systems will equip MBPD with adequate tools through which to better address the City’s pressing matters long-term. Thanks to the tremendous support of the City Administration, the Mayor and Commission, and of our active community, the Department has been able to greatly expand its CCTV and License Plate Reader (LPR) programs over the last few years, only boosted by the General Obligation (G.O.) Bond which will continue to provide support for years to come. Additionally, many City-funded projects will continue to expand these programs in areas not covered by the G.O. Bond to include City parks, buildings, garages, and facilities. The Department is confident that these sources have provided a robust future roadmap that will see significant expansion of these programs throughout the City.

Technology projects are currently in various successful stages of completion which will upgrade, improve, and expand MBPD’s capabilities. Within the next few months, the Department will undertake an evaluation of MBPD’s dispatch, mobile, and records management systems to evaluate the possibility of streamlining and bridging the information gap that exists in the real time information function. The results of this evaluation will guide decisions on future potential and large-scale technological upgrades.

No conversation about technology in policing would be complete without mentioning a Real-Time Crime Center (RTCC). Much work is currently being done to educate and inform Department personnel on the equipment, staffing, and operations of successful real-time crime centers in the local area as well as nationwide. MBPD’s goal has been to develop a concept of operations first through which to identify hardware to best match the Department’s needs, learning from the successes and failures of others to ensure immediate success. The creation and implementation of an RTCC is a significant undertaking at a time when many other substantial projects are concurrently underway. Although challenging, the Department remains committed to developing a world-class RTCC that will serve the citizens and officers of Miami Beach long into the future.

Applicable Area

South Beach
Is this a "Residents Right to Know" item, pursuant to City Code Section 2-14? Does this item utilize G.O. Bond Funds?
Yes Yes 

Strategic Connection

Neighborhoods - Prevent and solve crime for residents and visitors.
SOBESAFE.ORG Resolution Memo - C4J Feb 10, 2021Memo