An ideal place for a beach barbecue, a backyard party or a bike ride, Huntington Beach draws hundreds of thousands of people to celebrate the Fourth of July every year.
Packed beaches and a bustling downtown also makes for a busy day at the Huntington Beach Police Department, which saw more than 1,400 calls for service last year.
This year, police officials say Huntington Beach is adding manpower, a little horse power and some extra video surveillance for the holiday weekend.
“We want to be prepared for the large crowds and planned activities,” said Lt. Mitch O’Brien, the department’s public information officer. “This added staffing and video surveillance is just one step in ensuring a safe and fun 4th of July.”
All 208 of the city’s officers will be working Friday, and the department is also pulling resources from the Orange County Sheriff’s Department and the California Highway Patrol.
A mounted patrol from the Orange County Regional Mounted Enforcement Unit will also be trotting through downtown this weekend. At least one horse will patrol downtown July 4, and four mounted officers will patrol July 5.
“We are adding the mounted patrol for visibility and extra resources,” O’Brien said. “Horses are effective in patrolling large crowds and we feel this new feature will only enhance our ability to provide services this weekend.”
An additional 10 surveillance cameras were recently installed downtown, which brings the total number of cameras in the area to 17.
“The cameras will be manned this weekend so officers can monitor activities in real-time,” O’Brien said. “It is impossible for us to be everywhere at once. The cameras give us the ability to cover more area and monitor potential problems. Again it is our desire for everyone to enjoy their day in Huntington Beach and for the event to be successful.”
Here are some tips and reminders from the department so residents and visitors can enjoy a safe and fun holiday:
- All fireworks are illegal. Fines are $500 for the first violation, and $1,000 for any subsequent violations.
- All drinking in public fines will be strictly enforced. Fines for public drinking are doubled on the Fourth of July.
- Parents should closely monitor their children to ensure they are safe and behaving responsibly.
- Street closures: Pacific Coast Highway will be closed from 5 a.m. to no later than 2 p.m. for the parade. Vehicles will be detoured at Goldenwest Street and Beach Boulevard up to Garfield Avenue.
PCH will close again at 7 p.m. to accommodate crowds for the firework show. Police expect the street will reopen around 11 p.m.
The first two blocks of Main Street will be closed all day until the firework show ends.
Huntington Street will also be closed from PCH to Atlanta.
- The pier will be partially closed all day to prepare for the 9 p.m. firework show. The pier will completely close at 5 p.m.
- Firework activity can be reported at 714-375-5144. Any other illegal or dangerous activity can be reported at 714-960-8825. In an emergency, call 911.