Police Union Proposes More Police, Mandatory Pat-Downs at Ultra

The Miami lodge of the Fraternal Order of Police has chimed in on Ultra Music Festival's future in Miami. The police union is all for it -- just as long as all private security guards are replaced by City of Miami Police officers and that they're allowed to pat down every person entering the festival.

The letter was sent out today by FOP president Javier Ortiz to City of Miami commissioners.

"The Miami Fraternal Order of Police has as much of an interest in Ultra as you all do when it comes to public safety," the letter begins. "If the Miami Commission is planning to approve the Ultra Music Festival for future events in our city, we humbly request the following provisions are established."

Ortiz then goes suggests all civilian security guards be replaced by Miami Police officers, and only Miami Police officers -- as in not even officers from other local police departments. Of course, this would lead to MPD officers getting paid handsomely in overtime, but that might not be of much concern to Ultra-goers.

However, a plan for police officers to pat down and search every single person who enters the fest might be an issue.

Ortiz proposes a three-leveled entrance plan:

  • Concertgoers would wait in a line to have their tickets checked for authenticity.
  • Concertgoers would then be patted down and searched by a police officer for items such as drugs, weapons, and outside food and drinks. Cameras would also be prohibited.
  • Only after all of that would concertgoers have their tickets scanned and be allowed entry to the venue.

Ultra concertgoers have been required to undergo pat-downs and bag checks, but those are conducted by civilian security guards.

The letter also calls for Ultra's liability insurance to be increased to $22 million and a plan to have festival organizers post a $2 million bond beforehand.

Ortiz also demands that Ultra pay for Miami Police-controlled surveillance cameras that would be placed around the perimeter of the event. In addition, he asks for two layers of fencing installed and to have a police officer posted around the perimeter every 50 feet. He also wants no less than 60 bicycle officers around the perimeter at all times.

Yes, Ortiz clearly wants as many Miami Police officers paid and earning overtime as possible. He even wants Ultra to pay to have cops patrolling Bayside Marketplace next door.

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Kyle Munzenrieder