April 8, 2011
Last month, hundreds of thousands of students traveled to our state to enjoy their spring breaks, hitting destinations including Panama City Beach, Miami, and Daytona Beach. These Spring Breakers bring business to the hotel and restaurant industries throughout our state, and the local economies benefit from the steady influx of visitors.
Our mission during spring break is to work with the local authorities to help students enjoy a safe and responsible spring break. This year was no exception — agents with the Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco were dispatched to popular spring break spots throughout the state to support local law enforcement efforts. With thousands of students partying for weeks on end, situations could become dangerous without the visible and consistent enforcement presence we provide. Local authorities appreciate the assistance as well, so much so that one local entity paid for an extra team of agents to be on duty throughout the month of March for extra coverage.
I'm proud of the efforts our agents make to protect the students while they visit — it can be a tough job, but they are really good at working with the kids with a combination of firmness, kindness and a sense of humor when appropriate. I know that what they do helps keep kids safe and makes our state one of the top spring break destinations.
I've also enjoyed getting to know our new Secretary, Ken Lawson, over the past few weeks. Mr. Lawson has visited our Tallahassee headquarters several times and has been eager to meet people, learn about the department, and get a good feel for our responsibilities. He knows DBPR's top priority is getting Florida to work and helping our businesses and professionals thrive, and I know he's going to work hard with our team here to keep that focus strong.