Ultra Music Festival fans will be monitored by high-tech camera network
MIAMI - CBS News Miami is taking you exclusively inside the Real Time Crime Center at Miami Police headquarters where we see how cameras will be monitoring the Ultra Music Festival as police say they are trying to protect concertgoers.
Police say safety is a huge concern as some 170,000 people are expected to attend the Ultra Music Festival this weekend.
Miami Police Major Jose Rodriguez told CBS News Miami's Peter D'Oench that the Center was launched in 2017 with 12 cameras and there are now 655 cameras positioned around the city.
As Detective Cedric Philippe kept his eye on some of the images, Major Rodriguez observed, "Some of the cameras here show how part of Biscayne Boulevard is shut down for the Festival. We have eyes on the event and we are moving cameras around. We have situational awareness."
Miami Police Officer and spokeswoman Kiara Delva said, "It is such a crime deterrent. Our officers want to make sure we have safety measures in place to make sure our residents and attendees are safe. This is such a huge help because information can be relayed to officers in the field and that has led to arrests in the past and safety is our top concern."
Miami Police have also stepped up their presence.
For security reasons they are not saying how many officers are working.
Miami Police captain and spokesman Freddie Cruz said, "We have been working with Ultra security over the years and every year we want to do it better than over. Ultra has contracted with several officers to work security inside the event and we are directing traffic outside the event and so we have made modifications to on-duty resources and all for the safety of everyone. Safety is paramount. If you see something suspicious, say something."
Cruz said, "We do have many individuals coming down here who don't have tickets and if you are trying to buy tickets from a third party, just make sure you buy tickets that are official because we don't want you to be a victim of fraud."
Police say last year there were only 18 arrests.
Miami Fire Rescue has been preparing for days and will be on hand with special equipment and first-aid kits and radios and ambulances.
Lt. Pete Sanchez said, "We will have more than 100 paramedics and firefighters and inspectors every day. We ask that people stay hydrated and come in groups and use a buddy system. We want people to have a safe time. Also if you do take medications, make sure you bring those medications with you and stay safe."
Authorities say last year, of 160,000 people who attended, more than 120 people were treated for minor issues and 48 people were hospitalized.
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