Police Crackdown in Ocean Beach?

by on April 27, 2013 · 24 comments

in Culture, Environment, Ocean Beach, San Diego

We have heard reports that around 2pm on Friday, there was a massive San Diego Police “crackdown” on Ocean Beach.  One observer counted 15 patrol cars.

The new commander of the Western Division took a rather highly-publicized “walk through” in OB not too long ago.

Capt. Andy Mills, commander of the department’s Western Division, took a one-hour walk in Ocean Beach on April 12th as he told the press and those accompanying him that he wanted to hear and see firsthand what some in OB believed were the police-related problems and issues.

Now, it appears, that Capt Mills has sent his people into the community in force.

Did anyone see the campaign? Come on and leave a comment if you did.


{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Chuck Hardwick April 28, 2013 at 9:15 am

Yes I walked down Abbott street to the pier with some friends on Friday ( I think about 3:30 or 4) and counted 13 black and white police cars and a paddy wagon. I saw one person being arrested. I had to get back home, so I did not stay and watch, but as I walked down Bacon I saw 3 more black and whites who had pulled over a driver. I asked the office what was going on (i.e. was there a murder or shooting or anything), and he said there was nothing like that, it’s just the police want their presence to be felt in Ocean Beach and trust me it was!


avatar Denine April 28, 2013 at 10:58 am

Didn’t see “the campaign” but I did learn at the OB Town Council Meeting earlier this week that there are plans to have what has been dubbed “Operation Blue Tsumani” where there will be “more police cars than ever seen before”. OB is to be the first San Diego community to experience the Blue Tsumani… dates/times were not announced but the Western Division SDPD will post on their facebook page after the fact. Yeesh


avatar Lester Burnham April 29, 2013 at 2:33 pm

police state flash mobs in OB?!? I thought that would happen under Carl Demaio not Mayor Filner. well I suppose it’s easy to embrace the establishment when you control police force.


avatar Tyler April 30, 2013 at 7:37 am

Lester could you be anymore hyperbolic?


avatar Lester Burnham April 30, 2013 at 12:35 pm

Not at all. Allow me to quote Officer Surwilo…

“Operation Blue Tsunami is when we direct all officers within the division to “flood” an area looking for law enforcment issues which need to be addressed. It can mean police contact due to a dog off leash to using narcotics in public and can result in a citation to an arrest. It does not target one segment of the population, so everyone is free to be contacted.”

“This is because of outcry from the citizens due to crimes such as sexual assults to public narcotic use.

Kinda sounds like a (temporary) police state. Flooding OB with cops could also be labeled as a flash mob too. They even brought the paddy wagon with them because they KNEW they’d bust somebody while not “targeting one segment of the population.” And while they were here in OB other areas of the division had to do with less police coverage because all those extra cops have to come from somewhere if it’s not costing any extra bread. And I wasn’t aware so many sexual assaults happen in the middle of the day here in OB.

So what did Operation Blue Tsunami accomplish other than providing a dog a pony show disguised as a show of force? See for yourself…

Wonder what the barefoot indian dude was arrested for? I see him all the time and he’s never asked for change or anything for that matter.

@Frank Gormlie
Is the OB Rag cool with the Filner’s police force putting pics of arrests on Facebook?


avatar Tyler April 30, 2013 at 4:00 pm

“A police state is a state in which the government exercises rigid and repressive controls over the social, economic, and political life of the population. A police state typically exhibits elements of totalitarianism and social control, and there is usually little or no distinction between the law and the exercise of political power by the executive.”


avatar Lester Burnham April 30, 2013 at 4:21 pm

The facebook pics speak for themselves but that definition sounds like the current administration. NDAA and all that.


avatar Tyler May 1, 2013 at 9:24 am

As someone with family who actually grew up in a police state, your comments are insulting and quite frankly pathetic. I invite you to go live in an actual police state and then tell me we live in one here in the USA.


avatar Lester Burnham May 1, 2013 at 11:31 am

pathetic eh? Do you consider your cell phone a weapon? The SD police in MB do… when you tape them with it.

“government exercises rigid and repressive controls”

Video of Mission Beach Cigarette Citation Goes Viral and Lights Up National Debate Over Cellphone Videos


avatar Tyler May 1, 2013 at 1:11 pm

Now you’re just trolling…


avatar Jon April 30, 2013 at 8:43 am

I think you’re confusing “establishment” with “residents” who have been calling for help with these issues non-stop for years. Keep OB weird, not dangerous. I’m getting kinda sick of the anti-cop rhetoric. Everyone loves to hate on them until they need assistance from them.


avatar Frank Gormlie April 30, 2013 at 9:04 am

Yeah, there are good cops and there are bad cops, just like there are good lawyers and bad lawyers, good and bad in every profession, in every walk of life; there are also “good” police policies, and “bad” police policies. For example, in the 1970s SDPD had a policy of employing “field interrogations” where a police officer could literally stop anyone – without probable cause, without reasonable cause – and in OB, of course, it was used very heartily on young people, surfers, hippies. The policy was protested by an OB group, the OB Human Rights Committee – as well as a few other groups around SD, like the ACLU, and eventually it was found to be un-constitutional – a bad policy.


avatar obracer April 30, 2013 at 9:17 am

There is no doubt the ” establishment ” HAD , control over our police force, look at special events held by the O.B.T.C. and the O.B.M.A. that require permits, permits ? whats that ? police looked the other wayover and over again.
In the past you could BUY support from police with something as cheap as an office trailer.
What is anti-cop about results oriented policing ? years and years of hearing from police ” that’s O.B.” or to have a cop tell you ” I grew up In Pt Loma, I would never live in O.B. ” as residents we demand better service from our police. Change is good , we need more change as soon as possible.
O.B. will always be funky and weird, it’s how we like it here, but we can also be clean and free of drunks that lay all over the parking lots and sidewalks in O.B.
I do appreciate the police and the change that has come to O.B. , thanks to Cpt. Mills, I hope it continues.


avatar Jon April 30, 2013 at 10:22 am

Oh I completely agree with that point of view. There’s good & bad in every profession. Especially law enforcement which has a long reputation of abusing their authority. I get it. I just felt compelled to reply to the overblown comment from our buddy Lester. This is a case IMO where the cops are actually responding to our needs and complaints as a community. For that they should be commended. Not further vilified by a paranoid few.


avatar John May 1, 2013 at 3:07 pm

I agree with you in defending both the rank and file officers and would commend a tangible response to complaints about poor service but I don’t believe that is the intent or result of the new policy here.
Does 5x the officers normally on this beat for one hour once or twice a year equate to better response times to police calls? Or is it really a “show of force” delivering a message to Ocean Beach that despite budget cuts and strained resources, that we should never forget this is the number of badges that can be brought down upon us should the need arise at the next marshmallow fight or house party deemed to be out of control?
It’s purely speculation but I imagine a new commander being brought in with a job to do, and a Mayor who doesn’t micromanage just expecting him to perform.
And with the current trend of paramilitarized departments across the country, a borrowed but very ill advised, if one looks back in history, public display as one of the tools he’ll utilize to do it.
If one should be commended for performance above and beyond the call of duty it should be the PR officer asked to reassure women they were safe from sexual assaults for one hour this year. Your position sir is the most difficult of all.
I have sympathies for all involved, including the new commander or whoever came up with this. You’re asked to make do with less and less every year- but IMO this new tool is not a galvanizing material between the department and community. It’s going to be a wedge.


avatar Tyler April 28, 2013 at 2:10 pm

I couldn’t be happier about this. I’ve spoken with several officers and they just want to keep this town safe for those of us who LIVE here. I have noticed a remarkable difference in litter, commotion and fighting in the alleys and streets late at night, and general harassment on Newport and Veterans Plaza. OB can still be funky without all the tumbleweed trouble makers


avatar obracer April 29, 2013 at 6:42 am

Did they use the trailer ?


avatar Officer David Surwilo April 29, 2013 at 9:51 am

Operation Blue Tsunami is when we direct all officers within the division to “flood” an area looking for law enforcment issues which need to be addressed. It can mean police contact due to a dog off leash to using narcotics in public and can result in a citation to an arrest. It does not target one segment of the population, so everyone is free to be contacted. We shall be conducting these operations throughout the division, in all of the community’s within the division, at different times and on different days. There is no additioanl costs, we are not bringing in officers for overtime, just focusing all of them into one area at once. This is because of outcry from the citizens due to crimes such as sexual assults to public narcotic use. In this operation we did not use the trailer since the operation is only about an hour long and focuses on officers driving and walking the targeted area.


avatar Frank Gormlie April 29, 2013 at 10:19 am

David – We appreciate your comment, thank you.


avatar Officer David Surwilo April 29, 2013 at 10:35 am

No problem Frank. Please feel free to check out our division’s Facebook, SDPD – Western, for incidents and event occuring within the division and check out the photos. We built the page to help communicate with the public and free press. There were requests from the citizens in OB for better communication after the sexual assults last year to keep everyone informed so I try my best to keep it updated. Sometimes I am a little late but that sometimes due to be on days off.


avatar obracer April 30, 2013 at 7:29 am

Officer Surwilo , things are looking much better, you can really see the change since Cpt. Mills took over.
As a resident & property owner that lives near the wall I’m very grateful.

It’s a shame it took a change of command to get these results, here is a funny quote ” There is no additional costs, we are not bringing in officers for overtime, just focusing all of them into one area at once ” ? it this a new tactic ? no. it’s been used all over the city for many years.
Residents have been calling the same phone number, about the same issues for many , many years, thousands of incident reports, FINALLY the change came from S.D.P.D. , NOT the residents or the problems, the laws have not changed, S.D.P.D. decided it was time, thank god.
I’m sure you remember, you’ve been here the whole time while nothing was being done, as our C.R.O. you read the daily reports listing the same issues over and over again.
I am very grateful for the focus S.D.P.D. has placed on the quality of life issues in Ocean Beach, let the credit be given to those that made the change, not those that allowed these issues to continue for years.
Change is good, change needs to continue.


avatar Jamie October 4, 2013 at 8:38 pm

Looks like Capt. Mills bailed for “greener’ pastures.


avatar OB Mercy April 29, 2013 at 8:37 pm

Thanks David. Many of us are noticing the increased presence.

Here is the link to the SDPD Western Division Facebook page.



avatar OB Dude October 4, 2013 at 9:23 pm

Eureka, Calif. leaders announced this week that well-known San Diego police Capt. Andy Mills will be the city’s new top cop. He’ll become chief in the northern California city in early November.

Everyone is entitled to make changes in their life and career. For new police officers who receive training should be required to full fill a certain number of years of SD service or payback the cost of their training in order to help with retention.

So now what happens and who leads?

Cops need to be a part of the community not just a figure sitting in a police car waiting for a 911 call.


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