Police say their stepped-up enforcement efforts on the Fourth of July kept the peninsula area of Belmont Shore relatively calm, in stark contrast to late-night rioting last year.
"It was organized and quiet, no problems whatsoever," police Sgt. Rick Moorbeck said. There were a few alcohol-related arrests and a traffic tie-up after the city-sponsored fireworks display over the harbor.
Police barricaded Ocean Boulevard at Bay Shore Avenue, admitting only residents and their guests to the peninsula. Pairs of uniformed officers patroled the boardwalk, including Police Chief Lawrence L. Binkley, who showed up in a T-shirt and shorts.
Other officers roamed the beach in all-terrain vehicles while a police helicopter swooped low for frequent passes. Moorbeck said the increased presence eliminated the large crowd of troublemakers who gathered last year, many of whom were intoxicated.