Undercover officers cracking down on pop-up parties at several Florida beaches
With spring break in full swing, local law enforcement is cracking down on pop-up parties to prevent crime.
On local beaches, the Indialantic Police Department has officers stationed on the beaches and on boardwalks undercover so they can catch problems early on. A lot of work they’re doing is also behind the scenes, scouring social media and trying to scout out when a problem party could happen.
"When we realize that there may be some folks that are coming into the area that could draw a very large instantaneous crowd, we keep an eye on that," said Michael Connor, Indialantic’s police chief.
The crowds are here, and local beaches are bustling with people.
"Parking is usually never this bad this early, and it’s full right now," exclaimed Heather Kraus who lives on the Space Coast and is used to spring break business.
With more people comes more problems, and pop-up parties are a concerning trend this spring break for law enforcement.
"You get so many people in such a confined area, and it’s unorganized and it draws a bad element," Connor added.
"I’ve been hearing a lot of gun violence and stuff like that happening on the beach, especially because there’s a lot of pop-up parties with spring break being here it is a huge concern with the amount of violence that is happening," Kraus added.
That violence was on full display last weekend at Spessard Holland Park in Melbourne Beach where deputies say what started as a pop-up party ended in a murder. An 18-year-old was killed, and another person was injured.
The Brevard County Sheriff’s Office says the shooting was gang-related. One gang heard about a party happening at the park and came by looking for a specific person in another gang.
To combat this issue, Indialantic’s police chief says they’re trying to stop a party before it starts by staying in tune with social media and increasing patrols.
"We really beef up presence down on our beaches," Connor concluded.