Virginia Beach, Va. – Beach police met with members of the community and business owners to discuss how they could take action together to keep the beach safe during Beach Week.
NewsChannel 3 spoke with several people who wanted to know more about what police were planning.
“The majority of the meeting was about what we should be doing. They should have been telling us what they were going to do for us,” says the owner of RK’s Surf Shop after sitting through Thursday’s meeting with police.
In the meeting, officers stressed that it’s a community effort to minimize potential crime that could happen this summer.
Last year thousands of college students came to the Oceanfront Beach Week. Police arrested nearly 150 people for alcohol-related violations.
So far, police have not had any official word on Beach Week, but they say there is some buzz about it on social media.
This is why they’re taking action early. They say this is a group effort and the community needs to work together.
They asked hotels to notify them if large blocks of reservations are made, hire security and let them know about any large events.
They told restaurants to prepare for potentially busy weekends.
Police say they plan to have more officers on foot to engage in the crowds and fewer on bikes.
“There’s something about a police officer engaging in a community on a one-to-one level that really goes far,” says Chief James A. Cervera of Virginia Beach.
The first big event this summer is the Shamrock Marathon and this is when police say they will start to beef up patrols.