Huntington Beach Police reported no major incidents over the weekend
as large crowds descended upon downtown for the final days of the
U.S. Open of Surfing.
Police employed an additional 20 officers at the event venue,
south of the Huntington Beach Pier. Officers patrolled on foot and
atop ATV vehicles.
Learning from problems that occurred at past events, police took
preventive measures for this year's contest, Police Lt. Craig
Surf stickers -- popular as give-a-ways and decorations -- have
often been found covering stop signs, telephone poles and other
private and public property after the surf contest is over, Junginger
said. This year police banned vendors from selling or giving away
Police also banned beverage vendors from passing out free samples
of glass-bottled drinks, as one vendor did last year, Junginger said.
"It wasn't a problem, but we could see a potential problem with
that much glass," Junginger said.
Not all residents, however, felt that the 11-day-long event went
Julie Mamales, 46, lives in downtown Huntington Beach and said she
noticed an increase in graffiti and trash in her neighborhood since
the surfing contest began.
"The people that come down, I mean, they have no respect for the
people that live there," said Mamales, a 25-year Huntington Beach
resident, who thinks there still is not enough policing during busy
Mamales said her mailbox and garbage cans were spray-painted with
graffiti sometime over the weekend.
The large crowds are enough to keep her inside, Mamales said. She
didn't go to this year's U.S. Open because she didn't feel safe,
"I just think that there needs to be more police down there, so
nobody gets hurt," Mamales said. "It's just scary, and it shouldn't
be that way."