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Police in Fort Lauderdale have seen a significant increase in spring break-related arrests this year, with 18 arrests in March compared to eight last year. The influx of people came after Miami Beach cracked down on spring break chaos last year and many migrated to Fort Lauderdale to continue the partying. Despite larger crowds this year, police have been able to handle the incidents, which have mainly been disturbances and fights. The busiest weekend of the season coincided with St. Patrick’s Day festivities, with a decrease in visitors during a rainy weekend that followed.

Of the 18 spring break-related arrests in Fort Lauderdale, only three suspects were considered “spring breakers” by the police’s definition. Most of the arrests were related to disorderly conduct, drug offenses, thefts, battery, and traffic violations. Overall, the city has seen a surge in visitors, both locals and out-of-towners, due to its popularity as a spring break destination. Despite the increase in arrests, the situation in Fort Lauderdale has been relatively calm compared to other areas in Florida experiencing spring break chaos.

Violence has been reported along the 350 miles of Florida’s coast during spring break, with incidents such as shootings in Jacksonville and a gunman being chased through a crowd in New Smyrna Beach. Miami Beach, usually a hotspot for spring break-related crime, saw 250 arrests over St. Patrick’s Day weekend. However, the Mayor stated that this year has been the calmest spring break in years, with crimes not escalating to the levels seen in previous years, including stampedes and homicides. Law enforcement presence, including state troopers and resources, has helped maintain peace during the busy spring break season.

Governor Ron DeSantis deployed over 140 state troopers throughout the state along with resources like license-plate readers and drones to ensure safety during spring break. This proactive approach was aimed at preventing the chaos that has historically been associated with spring break in Florida. With the state’s efforts and law enforcement’s presence, the situation in popular spring break destinations like Fort Lauderdale has been relatively controlled this year. As the month of March comes to a close and spring break festivities wind down, the state’s actions have seemingly helped in reversing the trend of spring break chaos in Florida.

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