Robert Jenkins, the head of Miami Beach’s Fraternal Order of Police, also blames a lack of morale in a department that is in long-running contract negotiations. “Before, the department was very gung-ho; but times are changing and drinking and driving is just not a priority,” Jenkins said.
Oates, a relatively new police chief, insists morale is high but admits manpower is stretched thin. At the direction of the City Commission, the police department has embarked on a program called “Operation Traffic Blitz” to improve road flow. According to the publication, last year, officers ticketed nearly 3,000 motorists blocked intersections while towing thousands of freight vehicles blocking lanes.
Miami Beach isn’t the only agency to have dipped in DUI arrests. In the city of Miami, police officers logged only 466 arrests, down from a high of 1,013 arrests in 2012, records show according to the news report. “We’re still doing DUI enforcement, but it’s difficult to say why the arrests are down,” said Miami Maj. Delrish Moss, a spokesman. “We’d like to think that more people are getting the message and not getting behind the wheel.”
Additionally, the Florida Highway Patrol realized less than 400 arrests in 2015, 30 percent less than the previous year and the Miami-Dade Police Department, the county’s largest police department, actually went up slightly from the year before with a total of 1,530 arrests, although that number is down from a few years ago leading some to ask the same questions previously presented in the article.
One of the most aggressive departments for DUI enforcement was Pinecrest, a small South Miami-Dade City whose Police Department has only 48 sworn cops who grabbed 125 suspected drunk drivers last year — almost as many as Miami Beach with far fewer officers patrolling the roadways. Their efforts have led to a slew of awards; but again, the question still remains: are there fewer drunk drivers or fewer officers making drunk driving arrests?
Miami Herald: "DUI arrests plummet in Miami Beach, across Miami-Dade County"