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Laguna mayor praises public safety staffing in State of the City address

Laguna mayor praises public safety staffing in State of the City address
Laguna Beach Mayor Kelly Boyd, pictured in December, said during Thursday’s State of the City address that “we are at the highest staffing level of safety personnel that we have ever had, and that is something we can all be proud of.” (File Photo)

Laguna Beach Mayor Kelly Boyd presented the annual State of the City address Thursday at the Montage resort, hailing improvements to public safety and infrastructure.

Officials described higher staffing levels for police, firefighting and marine safety.

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"We are at the highest staffing level of safety personnel that we have ever had, and that is something we can all be proud of," Boyd said.

Police Chief Laura Farinella noted a decrease in thefts on the beach, particularly in South Laguna. Citations for beach-related violations have increased nearly 500% with additional patrols, according to a city news release.

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"By partnering with residents and adding these officers, we have made a significant impact on beach-related crimes and nuisance," Farinella said.

Officials noted projects such as the Village Entrance plan — including a scheduled groundbreaking in September — and beach access improvements. They also announced new projects, such as "scramble" crosswalks at Forest and Laguna avenues — which would allow pedestrians to cross from all corners and in all directions at once — and improvements for six intersections on Coast Highway.

Boyd, who is not running for reelection this year, was honored with a surprise tribute for his cumulative 16 years of service on the council.

"We want to recognize Kelly Boyd for his lifetime of public service to the city of Laguna Beach," City Manager John Pietig said. "He is a part of the fabric of this town, and his contributions on the City Council over the years have been important to making our city what it is today."

BRADLEY ZINT is a contributor to Times Community News.

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