78ºF

Daytona officials propose bars, restaurants pay for extra police after crime spike

Police say crime increased along Seabreeze Boulevard

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Daytona Beach police said there's been a spike in crime along Seabreeze Boulevard and the City of Daytona Beach is proposing that bars and restaurants pick up the tab to add more police presence in the area.

Bars, restaurants and nightclubs fill Seabreeze Boulevard.

"Seabreeze Boulevard is the Seabreeze entertainment district. Like, this is where people come to party in Daytona Beach," said Rick Kitt, owner of Daytona Taproom and The Joint.

But some residents say that party spills into their yard.

"We've had increased transients, break ins, burglaries, drug activity in the street," said Gary Libby.

Police said crime has spiked since last year, 40 percent of it happening on Seabreeze Boulevard. after 10 p.m. There's been a 33 percent increase in auto thefts and 50 percent increase in car break-ins.

"We've seen increased problems and we've seen I think less self-policing on the part of not all but some of the property owners on Seabreeze," said Libby.

That's why city leaders said it wants to charge 12 bars and restaurants $12,000 a year to have more police presence. However, some bars said they shouldn't be the ones who foot the bill.

"Most businesses are not going to be able to afford that and second of all, it's absolutely ridiculous to pick out 12 businesses that are here on Seabreeze Boulevard instead of spreading it across all businesses in Daytona Beach," said Rick Kitt, Owner of Daytona Taproom and The Joint.

City leaders also propose that establishments close 2 a.m. instead of 3 a.m. and charge those who want that extra hour, $400 a year with rules to follow. A heavy price tag that residents like Libby believe is worth it.

"Many people in the neighborhood are now armed and that's really not I think what the City of Daytona Beach would like. Armed people living in some certain degree of fear in their homes."

City leaders said nothing has been voted on yet.


About the Author: