LOS ANGELES (AP) — Police in Southern California are gearing up for summer’s unofficial Memorial Day start after one of the city’s top tourist destinations, Venice Beach, became the scene of a recent shooting and a stabbing.
Fearing crime could spiral, the authorities have started cracking down on the unruliness that typifies the boardwalk — a 1.5-mile ribbon of asphalt that can draw 150,000 people on a summer weekend.
Patrol reinforcements are being summoned from other divisions, more undercover operatives are being assigned to infiltrate crowds, and detectives are gathering intelligence via social media.
The LAPD plans to increase patrols in the Venice Beach area this Memorial Day weekend and has plans to establish a stronger presence there for the coming summer months.
Dozens of people have been arrested for smoking pot and drinking in public, minor transgressions but ones that set the tone of public order on the beach.