JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. -- A Jacksonville Beach Police officer monitored the crowd at Friday night's Moonlight Movies as part of the heavy police presence that will be visible at the beach all weekend long after two Memorial Day fights.
" ... You got hundreds of people fighting."
911 calls released to First Coast News describe the chaotic scene the city of Jacksonville Beach does not want to repeat.
So to reassure the community that Jacksonville Beach is a safe area, the police department is bringing in additional officers from the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office and from the police departments of both Atlantic Beach and Neptune Beach.
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"We want people to feel safe whether it's a Moonlight Movie or a concert or whatever," said Tom Sprowell, co-owner of Campeche Bay Cantina.
Sprowell said Campeche Bay Cantina business increases by 30 to 40 percent on Memorial Day and he wants to make sure people come back to his restaurant.
The city's free movie night is the first major event after the fights, and Friday night, dozens of people showed up two hours early just to save their spot.
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"People just getting into arguments over silly stuff I didn't think it would affect anything Friday night and coming out to the beach," said Chris Parisi, a Jacksonville resident.
The only safety concern First Coast News heard from a number of people was the impact a fight would have on a child and the hope for a permanent increase in police presence at the beach.
First Coast News