As the temperature rises in Los Angeles, thousands of eager Angelenos will try to beat the heat by heading west to local beaches and local law enforcement agencies are preparing to handle the influx of visitors.
Malibu and Santa Monica have increased the quantity of officers patrolling coastal hotspots and both cities said there are some simple steps anyone can take to improve beach safety.
In Santa Monica, the police department will station more officers on the beach, Pier and in the Downtown.
“Our officers are there to enforce any laws they see being violated,” said Lieutenant Saul Rodriguez. “Whether it’s drinking on the beach or vehicle crimes, they are going to tackle anything and everything that will come their way.”
Rodriguez said increasing patrols is a preventative strategy
“The visible presence does deter crime so we do increase patrols on weekends even more,” he said. “We do add some officers on weekdays but on weekends you’re going to see even more on the Pier, Promenade and the beaches themselves.”
Rodriguez the local officers will be using every kind of patrol available to the department including on foot, bike, car, motorcycle, horse and ATV.
The increased police presence in Malibu is also focused on preventing crime with the start of their annual Summer Beach Team program that increases the number of Sheriff patrols in the area.
“From Memorial Day weekend until after Labor Day, the Beach Team patrols include additional patrol vehicles on PCH and other roads and quads and trucks that patrol on the beaches,” said a statement released by the City of Malibu. “A primary focus of the Beach Team is to eliminate the consumption of alcohol at the beaches, which results in a significant reduction in the number of assaults, rescues made by Lifeguards, and injury accidents on the highways.”
Malibu officials said visitors can use rideshare or taxis to prevent drunk driving and said alcohol on the beach is prohibited.
Additional reminders include forgoing cell phones in the care, driving slowly when pedestrians or cars exiting parking lots could cross the PCH, not leaving kids or pets in hot cars and sharing the road with all vehicles or pedestrians.
“Malibu is proud to have 21 miles of the iconic PCH and to have beautiful beaches that are famous around the world,” said Malibu Mayor Rick Mullen. “We must do everything we can to keep them safe for residents and visitors alike.”
Both agencies said vehicle break-ins can be prevented if drivers hide their valuables.
“Everyone should lock and secure your car,” said Rodriguez. “Anybody and everybody that has a car out there, don’t leave valuables in the car,” he said.
To contact the Malibu Lost Hills Sheriff’s Station for non-emergency matters, call (310) 456-6652. The Santa Monica Police Department can be reached at (310) 458-8491. To report drunk drivers or other emergencies, call 911.