Few citations reported at SoCal beaches

Officers patrolling Los Angeles County beaches closed due to COVID-19 restrictions were educating rather than citing people who tried to escape the heat at the local shores, authorities said Sunday.

All beaches and hiking trails remained closed as the area experienced summer-like temperatures for the second straight day, and several cities within the county followed suit.

"We won't let one weekend undo a month of progress,'' Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti tweeted Sunday. "While the sunshine is tempting, we're staying home to save lives. The places we love -- our beaches, hiking trails -- will still be there when this is over. And by staying home, we're making sure
our loved ones will be too.''

Deputies from the Malibu Sheriff's Station preferred to educate beachgoers about the continuing closure and issued only a few citations tothose who would not leav e the beach or parks, according to the watch sergeant.

There is "definitely the threat'' of citations at other closed county beaches, according to Deputy Tracy Koerner of the Sheriff's Information Bureau.

Redondo Beach police have not cited people who visit closed beaches although "we would like to,'' Sgt. B. Weiss said. The ocean was especially attractive in the darkness due to a red tide caused by algae blooms that appeared to light up the water, he said.

Hermosa Beach police said they have not issued citations and that security guards were helping shoo visitors away from the beach.

RELATED: Hermosa Beach group urges LA County supervisors to reopen beaches

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And Manhattan Beach police reported issuing some citations to people who refused to leave the beach. The watch commander could not cite specific numbers but said they were busy.

In Orange County, many beaches were reopened with social distancing restrictions but most of the parking lots remained closed.

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The Orange County Sheriff's Department reported no citations were issued. Newport Beach was reopened and officers were trying to remind visitors about the need for social distancing. Parking lots were closed early Saturday but some were opened because of street parking issues, officials said.

Laguna Beach remained closed and the watch commander said people were cooperating when reminded they should not be there.

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