“Hermosa Beach is a great time,” beach goer, Ryan Nowicki, said. “It’s a great place to be on the 4th of July. This whole town celebrates Independence Day wonderfully.”
Nowicki is in the patriotic spirit carrying his giant American Flag on the Hermosa Beach boardwalk.
He’s joined by thousands of beach goers also celebrating the holiday, but this year they’re also noticing more police.
“This year the police presence has helped calm things down, sometimes it’s pretty crazy out here,” he said.
Hermosa Beach Police have teamed up with the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department for the last several years to increase enforcement.
Eighty officers are patrolling the sand and the strand with SUV’s and 4-wheel drive vehicles looking out for anyone breaking the law.
“It gives the message that hey, we want folks to come down have a good time and enjoy themselves, but you’ve got to follow the rules,” Robert Higgins, Hermosa Beach Police Department, said.
Police have learned their lessons from years past when crowds got especially rowdy.
“It’s a nut fest out here when it’s really crazy and they’ve done an amazing job as you can see controlling the crowds,” beach goer, Vadim Fanous, said.
Police plan to cite anyone for alcohol and smoking violations.
Drinking on the beach and boardwalk is illegal and fines are three times higher on the holiday weekend.
“So if you get a alcohol violation citation it can be over a thousand dollars,” Higgins said.
That’s why a group of guys celebrating a 21st birthday are thinking twice about how they party.
“It’s just a tough police presence here so we’re making sure we’re safe making sure we’re responsible and making sure we’re drinking responsibly,” Matthew Zintari said.
As of Monday afternoon police only issued 6 citations, but one ticket was for Hermosa's new "social host" ordinance, which fines a party host $3,000 for any underage drinking.
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