Fewer arrests means more officers in the field

July 09, 2013|By Bryce Alderton

The number of arrests in Laguna Beach on the Fourth of July dropped for the second consecutive year, according to Laguna Beach Police Department statistics.

Police arrested two people on the holiday, compared with five in 2012 and 11 in 2011, Capt. Jason Kravetz wrote in an email.

Kravetz, in a follow-up phone interview, attributed the decrease in arrests to a focus on officers being where they may be needed most rather than spending time bringing in people for processing.


"When officers are in the field, they handle party calls, lost kids on the beach, traffic collisions, road rage," Kravetz said. "There are people who get in fist fights over the use of barbecues at Heisler Park. Ninety-nine-point-nine percent of people get along and have a great day. There's one small percentage who don't."

Though the number of arrests decreased, calls for service on the Fourth of July increased this year to 271 from 262 in 2012, according to the data.

Police issued 61 citations on July 4, an increase from 48 in 2012 but a decrease from 71 in 2011, according to statistics.

Citations this year were given out for drinking in public, taking garibaldi from the ocean, jaywalking and "lots of urinating in public," Kravetz said.

He said out-of-towners typically visit Laguna to watch fireworks but the number would be too difficult to establish.

"We are not the typical town with one flat beach," Kravetz said. "The many coves and private beach areas make it nearly impossible to take an accurate [count]."

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