Item Coversheet



TO: Neighborhood/Community Affairs Committee Members

Jimmy L. Morales, City Manager

DATE: May 22, 2018




This memorandum is prepared to provide additional follow up information on the above-titled agenda item as requested during the April 4, 2018 Neighborhood/Community Affairs Committee (NCAC) meeting and following several communications and presentations on Miami Beach crime trends provided to the NCAC in recent months.


In a Letter to Commission, dated February 23, 2018, the City Manager provided Uniform Crime Report (UCR) information on the 9.49-percent reduction in major index crime in Miami Beach in 2017 (LTC 99-2018). At the March 21, 2018 NCAC meeting, the Police Department also presented data on the 21-percent decline in major index crime since 2013. At the April 4, 2018 meeting, the Police Department presented, in response to the Committee’s request, citywide crime trends specific to the areas of North, Middle and South Beach. The Department also provided information on crime trends for the State of Florida, Miami-Dade County and City of Miami since 2013. These jurisdictions all showed decreases in crime, with Miami Beach showing the greatest reductions.


At the April 4 meeting, the NCAC specifically requested follow up information on three items at the upcoming May 22, 2018 meeting. These requests concerned: 1) Additional crime and arrest data; 2) examples of studies of police departments; and 3) options for studying the perception of crime in Miami Beach. 



1.    Additional Data


In response to the request for additional, specific data, the Police Department has compiled the following information for the NCAC’s review:

  1. UCR part I statistics (2007-2016) for the City of Miami Beach, City of Miami, Miami-Dade County and State of Florida
  2. Arrest data (2007-2016) for the City of Miami Beach, City of Miami, Miami-Dade County and State of Florida
  3. DUI arrests (2007-2016) for the City of Miami Beach, City of Miami, Miami-Dade County and State of Florida


This information and additional relevant data are provided in several charts as addenda to this memorandum.


2.    Samples of Studies of Police Departments


The NCAC also requested a sampling of information on professional studies of Miami Beach and other police departments over the last 10 years addressing various elements of their operations. In response to this request, the MBPD compiled the below information regarding other recent studies of police departments locally and elsewhere in Florida. Although insightful for the agencies concerned, none of these studies appear to directly tackle the issue of public perception of crime in these communities. A summary of these studies is as follows:


City of Miami Beach Police Department


Body-Worn Camera Study – 2015-2018

The Smart Policing Initiative for Body-Worn Camera Data-Sharing is study of body-camera effectiveness funded by the Department of Justice. The MBPD has teamed up with a leading researcher in the area of police body cameras, Dr. Barak Ariel of Cambridge University. Professor Ariel has designed a unique program for the introduction, implementation and assessment of body-camera inputs, outputs and outcomes. Results of the study will be available later in 2018.


Staffing Study

This study of deployment of sworn personnel is being conducted by Matrix Consulting Group, an organization that has conducted over 350 studies for agencies across the United States and Canada. The focus of the study is to determine staffing needs through an in-depth analysis of calls for service, city geography, case workload and alternatives to managing assignments. Matrix will incorporate into its review an analysis of the current patrol beat configuration and design, community policing efforts and management systems in place to deal with the ever-changing law enforcement profession. Results of the study will be available later in 2018.


Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) Study – 2014

In 2014, PERF concluded a “Review and Assessment” of the MBPD. The study was commissioned early in the tenure of new City Manager Jimmy Morales. The study’s major areas of focus were: Recruitment, Selection and Hiring; Use of Force; Training; Accountability Systems; and Bias-Free Policing. PERF made 51 recommendations for changes or improvements in these areas. All of these recommendations were evaluated by the new leadership team that took over the Police Department in mid-2014, and many of the PERF recommendations were ultimately adopted by the agency.


Maximus Study – 2006

This study analyzed staffing, calls for service and workload within the Miami Beach Police Department and made multiple recommendations regarding hours worked, deployment, etc., to improve efficiency.


Miami-Dade County Police Department


Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) Study – 2018

Completed in March of this year, this PERF study focused on use of force by the Miami-Dade Police Department. Areas of study concerned: policies and procedures on use of force, training, and an analysis of officer-involved shootings, including results of a survey of officers involved in these events. PERF made 60 recommendations for MDPD’s consideration.


Body-Worn Camera Study – 2017

The Miami-Dade Police Department hired Weston Research Associates to study certain aspects of its new body-worn-camera implementation. The study focused on certain metrics to include: citizen contact; internal affairs referrals; use of force; officer injuries; traffic stops; lawsuits, etc. The study showed generally positive results for the agency during the early period of rolling out this new technology.


Other Police Agencies


As NCAC requested, the MBPD also found a sampling of recent studies involving other Florida police agencies:


Clearwater Police Department Efficiency Study – 2009

Matrix Consulting Group was retained by the City of Clearwater to conduct a Police Department Efficiency Study. This study, which began in the winter of 2009, was designed to provide an assessment of the efficiency and effectiveness of Police Department operations, identifying improvement opportunities relating to service delivery, organization and staffing, as well as management.


Village of Pinecrest Police Department Survey – 2015

Sworn officers employed by the Village of Pinecrest were surveyed about different employment aspects, including morale, turnover, promotional opportunities, salaries, training, equipment, etc., to evaluate how they felt about their place of employment.


Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office Community Survey – 2016

The Public Opinion Research Laboratory at the University of North Florida conducted a survey on behalf of the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office (JSO) to gauge community perceptions of public safety in Jacksonville, Florida (not including the Beaches Communities). The survey was conducted from November 14 through December 12, 2016 through live telephone interviews with adult respondents in Jacksonville, Florida. This survey resulted in 1,711 completed interviews, across the six JSO police patrol zones.


City of St. Petersburg Police Department Neighborhood Police Survey – 2015-16

The City conducts a survey at least once every three years focusing on overall agency performance; overall competence of agency employees; citizens’ perception of officer attitudes and behavior; community concern over safety and security within the agency’s service area; and citizens’ recommendations and suggestions for improvement. A list of 23 survey questions is compiled to address the topics mentioned above as well as citizen concerns regarding victimization, overall level of crime in their neighborhoods, specific crime problems, police presence, and type of interaction/means of contact with police.



3.    Crime Perception Study Options


The NCAC requested that staff propose three options for the Commission to study citizens’ perception of crime and public safety in Miami Beach. Three such options are outlined, below:


Option 1:

The City of Miami Beach already does a biennial survey of citizen satisfaction with government services. In concert with the upcoming survey, the Police Department and the City Manager’s Office would work to develop and refine questions that would expand on residents’ and business owners’ perceptions of crime and safety. The survey, last conducted in 2016, is currently scheduled for the fall/winter of 2018. The methodology includes randomly selected households and businesses throughout the City. In 2016 a total of 1,908 households and 1,000 businesses completed the survey. Sample questions from the 2016 survey included:

  •  Respondents’ feeling of safety in Miami Beach, broken down by neighborhood, time of day, and during high impact times
  •  Respondents’ likelihood of recommending the City of Miami Beach to others as a place to run a business
  • Whether residents would recommend the City of Miami Beach to friends and family as a place to live
  • Satisfaction with the various perceptions of the City of Miami Beach
  • Residents’ access to the Police Department’s social media platforms
  •  The 2016 Survey can be found at:


Timeline: Results of this scheduled survey are anticipated in winter of 2018-19.

Cost: Funds are previously earmarked for this study. If only minor changes are made, there are likely to be no additional costs. For an independent survey focusing exclusively on police-community satisfaction, the cost is estimated at a range starting at $13,000.



Option 2:

The City would conduct a qualitative analysis by hosting three focus groups moderated by an outside, independent vendor. The vendor will include residents from all sections of the City of Miami Beach and will ensure a mix of demographics, including: age, gender, ethnicity and income.



  •  3 separate focus groups
  • Written report of findings
  • Videotape of focus groups

Timeline: Once scripting and content is determined, the study will take one month to complete.

Cost: $14,250 plus travel expenses at $900 per visit (Based on single proposal by Downs and St. Germain, attached. The City could also seek similar proposals from other vendors.)



Option 3:

The City would conduct a comprehensive study of public opinion of police services by hosting 10 to 15 focus groups chosen to reflect a broad cross-section of community and neighborhood sentiment, as well as that of particular special interests, such as the business, education, entertainment, residential and hospitality sectors. These focus groups would be facilitated by an outside, independent vendor and would be followed by qualitative analysis and reporting. The vendor would include residents from all sections of the City of Miami Beach and would ensure a mix of demographics including: age, gender, ethnicity and income.



  •  10-15 separate focus groups
  •  Proposed special interests to be considered for focus-group input: residents in Police Areas 1-4; Chamber of Commerce members; Hotel Association and related hospitality interests; Entertainment District community interests; transportation-related interests; Lincoln Road community interests; 41st Street corridor community interests; North Beach Collins Ave/71st Street community interests; State Attorney and regional law enforcement interests; public and private school interests; and special interest advocacy groups such as: area faith leaders, LGBTQ community, NAACP, ACLU, etc.
  • Written report of findings
  • Videotape of focus groups

Timeline: Four to six months following vendor contract signing.

Cost: $50,000 (approximate, subject to competitive bid).



Option 4:

The City would hire an outside, independent vendor/researcher -- a respected law enforcement entity such as PERF or the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) or a respected academic institution with significant law enforcement expertise – to study the correlation between arrests and crime reduction in Miami Beach. There are many variables to such a study and great complexity to the kind of analysis that would be required.  Given the variables to be considered (e.g., crime data and trends, demographics, economic trends, population growth, staffing changes to local and regional law enforcement, changes in laws and prosecution policies/emphasis, etc.) it is difficult to estimate the cost of such a study without more guidance from the Commission. The goals and desired outcomes for such a study would very much depend upon its design and the specific scope of work. To be effective, the study should encompass trends and data over at least the past 10 years.   Because of the complexity, the Commission might consider hiring a consultant to lead the City through the design and execution of the study. Further, such a study could, at the Commission’s direction, be combined with Options 2 or 3  to include public perception as part of the analysis.



  • Comprehensive report on correlation between arrests and crime in Miami Beach
  • Possible inclusion of focus group perceptions
  • Written report

Timeline: Six to nine months

Cost: Undetermined; dependent upon scope of study as further set by Commission


Crime Data ChartsOther
Supplemental MaterialOther