While the Commission has voted to increase funding to hire new Police Officers and for a video surveillance center, I believe we need to ensure that Police Officers are highly visible on Ocean Drive and in the Entertainment District. This has been discussed multiple times at the Neighborhood and Quality of Life Committee as part of my referral on crime and public safety, but I believe it is time for the Commission to discuss it as a whole. If we need more resources for Police presence, I am likely to support such a request.
Many people believe that the complete closure of Ocean Drive may be contributing to creating a void where some people believe they can come to our City and do drugs and commit crimes. As a safety measure, I would like to discuss opening one lane of traffic from North to South, including opening back up the side streets. I was the original sponsor of the sidewalk extension program during the pandemic and like many have enjoyed having more pedestrian and open space but am ready to consider other options. I am also concerned about the ability of an ambulance to access Ocean Drive in its current configuration.