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Police: U.S. Open safe

August 04, 2005

Lauren Vane

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.

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Learning from problems that occurred at past events, police took

preventive measures for this year's contest, Police Lt. Craig

Junginger said.

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

stickers.

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

smoothly.

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

city events.

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,

Mamales said.

"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."

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