South Beach security buildup for Memorial Day weekend party

You're looking at the military-style, all-terrain light tactical vehicle being used by police in Miami as part of its security buildup for Memorial Day weekend in South Beach.
CBS Miami
(CBS) MIAMI BEACH) - Ever heard of Urban Beach week?

It's an unofficial Memorial Day Weekend party in Miami's South Beach, and it's bringing out an increase in security, according to CBS Miami.

"Prevention is key," said Detective Vivian Hernandez.

Cameras, mobile and stationary, have been installed throughout the area. Add to the mix 62 light towers, twelve visual messaging boards and three watch towers.

Roughly 400 officers per shift from multiple agencies will pack Miami Beach, CBS Miami reports.

In addition to extra bikes and ATVs, police have a vehicle on loan referred to as an LTV - a $140,000 light tactical all-terrain vehicle, similar to the ones used in the military.

Cops say they'll use it to help protect the city's residents and visitors.

"A dark beach at night, I would compare it to a dark alley in a big city," said one officer.

According to CBS Miami, the camera on the LTV uses infrared technology to detect heat signatures on the beach, so even in the dead of night, officers can see people on a small screen mounted inside the vehicle.

"We could easily pick up a heat signature...close to 3/4 of a mile away," the officer explained.

The goal of the beefed up security is to prevent chaos, such as an incident two years ago when officers shot and killed a man they claim was driving erratically on Collins Avenue.

The family of the driver, Raymond Herisse, filed a lawsuit against the police department just this Tuesday.

In 2012, cops called the Urban Beach Week a big success, and are hoping to build-on those improvements in 2013.

"We take every year into account to make the next year a lot better," Det. Hernandez said.