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Newport recognized for a safer Fourth of July

As fall rolled around last month, the city of Newport Beach was still celebrating the Fourth of July.

The city won an Assn. of California Cities Orange County Golden Hub of Innovation award in public safety for its efforts to make the Balboa Peninsula’s usually raucous Independence Day festivities more family friendly.

“We’re taking back the streets,” Mayor Pro Tem Keith Curry said.

In 2011, the city passed its “Loud and Unruly Gatherings” ordinance, which imposed penalties on out-of-hand partyers and established the “Fourth of July is for Families” program. That year, the city reported it saved about $14,000 in law-enforcement costs. About 16 homes were tagged for LUGO violations.


This year, the city said it saved $15,000, and for the first time, streets stayed open to traffic. Two homes were tagged under LUGO, a city report said.

“We still arrested 100 people, but we’re making progress,” Curry said.

A news release for the ACC-OC cited Newport’s “novel ‘carrot and stick’ approach” to public safety as resulting in a “quieter, less costly” holiday.

The first Golden Hub awards in September also honored reforms to Anaheim’s employee pension system and a Mission Viejo program that moved some record-keeping operations online.


“Orange County has a long history of innovation and is quickly becoming recognized as the Hub for Government Innovation,” association Chief Executive Lacy Kelly said in a statement.

Twitter: @jillcowan