Culture

Park West Gets More Police for Clubs

Maybe your car gets broken into while you're dancing. Or you watch a drunken fistfight on NE 11th Street. Maybe you wish you didn't have to glance nervously over your shoulder as you flag a taxi.

Park West, which hosts a strip of all-night clubs, has a long way to go before we can start using words like safe. But beginning this weekend, eight more officers will patrol the district along with downtown. The cops will be on duty during peak nightlife hours Thursday through Sunday.

They come thanks to a 2-month-old group made of 14 nightclub and restaurant owners called the Miami Entertainment District Association (MEDA). The group meets weekly to talk about issues such as security, code compliance, and noise. Says Vice President Michael Slyder: "Clubs are doing what we can; we don't want crime either."

The group so far has met with city cops and held Q&A sessions with security personnel. Last Thursday, the meeting was held at Club Space. They will soon offer membership to other businesses. Says Slyder: "There's a really healthy exchange, and we're working hard to create additional programs."