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Despite rumors of a 2,000-arrest quota for Memorial Day weekend, Miami Beach Police arrested just 373 people during the traditionally raucous four-day festivities -- 58 fewer than 2011, police spokeswoman Vivian Hernandez told HuffPost Miami.
There were also fewer felonies -- 54 compared to 66 last year -- which were mostly drug charges, Hernandez said. Though the number of misdemeanors increased about 27 percent, there were no reported stabbings, murders or assaults.
There were also more than 600 fewer calls to police and fire departments made over the long weekend.
"It’s a great thing when the plan comes together. I’m very happy, very pleased with how the weekend’s turned out," Police Chief Raymond Martinez told NBC Miami.
Last year, the partying ended on a much different note when one man was killed and seven injured after police opened fire in two separate incidents. This year, the department planned extensive security measures including shutting down roads, increasing foot patrol, scanning license plates, surveillance towers, and feigning limited access to the Venetian Causeway by checking for proof of residency.
Police scanned about 26,000 vehicle tags at checkpoints and issued a citation to 310 drivers, NBC Miami reports. All the extra measures cost the department $1.9 million, including overtime pay.
Despite the dip in violence, some local business owners said the increased security presence took a toll on their wallets.
“If they’re going to do this again, I would seriously consider closing my business down next year,” Gary Sanon-Jules, general manager of Tap Tap, a popular South Beach restaurant, told the Miami Herald.
Sanon-Jules said that he paid for extra staff and security, but saw one-third less business than last year's Memorial Day weekend.
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