San Diego Police are not planning on having a larger presence in OB on July 4th, Lt. Natalie Stone told the OB Rag.
“We’ll have the same presence as always,” the Western Division police lieutenant said. Maybe, she added, we’ll add a few more people. But that’s it. Nobody is expecting police, she said, to prevent anything from happening.
There had been some fears that an increased police presence at the beach during the fireworks and any aftermath could spark a disturbance with booze-fueled young people. Normally, the police are present, but not in any huge numbers, and usually the officers have smiles and are getting into the spirit of the event, even when their patrol cars are pelted with marshmallows.
The police are part of a joint effort to curtail the marshmallow throwing, with the Town Council and merchants, Stone added. But Lt. Stone was fed up with the gooey mess left by the marshmallows. “I had to soak my boots for days,” she said, “to get the mess off of them.” She went on, the goo is getting in their cars, in their equiptment, “it’s ruining our equipment,” she said.
The low-key approach planned by police was also confirmed by Chet Barfield, assistant to Councilman Ed Harris. “No one will be going around handing out littering citations,” Barfield said.
He went on to explain Ed Harris’ position. “Harris supports the OB Town Council’s endeavor to curtail it. He understands that it has gotten out of control.”
But, “enough is enough.” That’s where Harris is on the issue, said Barfield.
The Councilman is expected to attend a press conference along with the police hosted by the Town Council in several weeks to announce to the San Diego public that the community is asking people to forsake the event and not bring marshmallows to the beach for the night-time throwing. The press conference will be on July 1st, at 10 am at Veterans’ Plaza, at the foot of Newport Avenue.
Over the years, over the decades, the police have increased their presence in OB during the Fourth of July. The police now routinely take over the Lifeguard station parking lot as well as the Pier parking lot at times. But as reported, there is no plan to dramatically increase their numbers in OB on this Fourth.