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Sounding Off: No. 7 — Enhancing public safety

October 07, 2010|By Ken Frank

Editor's note: Laguna Beach City Manager Ken Frank is retiring in December after 30 years with the city. In this column, he shares what he sees as the "top 10" most significant accomplishments of the city administration during the past three decades.

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•Accomplishment No. 7 has been a priority for all City Councils: enhancing public safety.

•Many efforts have been undertaken toward that end:

•Employing goats to create a firebreak around the perimeter of Laguna Beach to significantly lessen the possibility of a wildland fire blowing into the city;

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•Creating an interior canyon fuel break in Arch Beach Heights to prevent the spread of a fire starting on the undeveloped hillside;

•Creating in-house paramedic units, two of which are on duty in the city at all times rather than contract with the county for units located outside Laguna Beach;

•Improving the 911 Dispatch Center's staffing levels and equipment;

•Adding five police officers on patrol;

•Extending lifeguards into the shoulder seasons;

•Conducting business and residential inspections by Fire Department units;

•Using senior volunteers in the Police Department to supplement the work of sworn officers;

•Constructing a fire road between Arch Beach Heights and Top of the World so the fire engine at Station 3 can travel quickly from Top of the World to Arch Beach Heights;

•Prohibiting new wood roofs to reduce fire hazards;

•Realigning and widening Laguna Canyon Road to eliminate serious traffic accidents;

•Installing traffic signals at key locations (e.g., Festival of Arts) to promote pedestrian safety;

•Retaining South Coast Medical Center (now Mission Hospital Laguna Beach) as an acute care hospital; and

•Constructing new sidewalks for pedestrian safety.

Ken Frank is the Laguna Beach city manager.

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