Sunset Beach residents might notice quicker responses and more police presence in their community than in the past. That's because the Huntington Beach Police Department is now serving Sunset's residents.
The switch from the Orange County Sheriff's Department, which previously had jurisdiction over the area, took place Aug. 29, which is the official day Sunset became part of Huntington, said Huntington police Lt. Russell Reinhart
Before the annexation, a deputy from the Sheriff's Department used to patrol the area along with Rossmoor, an unincorporated area north of Sunset adjacent to Los Alamitos and Seal Beach.
For the most part, residents should not notice any changes, Reinhart said.
"The biggest change would be more officers being around than there were deputies in the past," he said. "We should be able to get there a lot quicker and be able to handle problems."
Sunset Beach Community Assn. President Mike Van Voorhis, who went on a ride-along Sunday, told the City Council he's pleased with the service and is happy police are fixing the traffic issues in his community.
"I'm very positive about our future and look forward to the opportunities our annexation brings," he said.
Huntington's police prepared for the transition a year ago when talks first opened to annex Sunset. A lawsuit challenging the annexation stalled the process, but when the time came, the department was ready, Reinhart said.
"So far, it's been very smooth," he said.
The biggest part of making the transition was to reroute the 911 system to go to Huntington's police dispatch instead of the Sheriff's Department. The department also gave its officers maps of the area and met with the Sheriff's Department's deputy who used to patrol Sunset, Reinhart said.