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Mailbag: Will using H.B. shelter impact Newport?

September 14, 2011

I wonder how many Newport Beach residents know about the changes being made or planned at the Newport Beach Police Department and how they will affect every resident.

The police department is talking about picking up the arrestees from Costa Mesa. Costa Mesa arrests more people a night than there are beds in the Newport Beach jail. They also arrest a lot of homeless/transients every day. Those arrestees will be released from the Newport Beach jail and will either decide to hang out in Newport Beach or walk home to Costa Mesa, through Newport Beach neighborhoods.

They are also talking about phasing out the current jail employees with a private company. Let's see, they are going to replace employees who have gone through a thorough background investigation and have ongoing training with people who could not be hired by a police department because they could not or did not pass the test/background. These private employees will be dealing with money and drugs found in the jail search. While this may save money on the front end, it may cost the city big-time money with future lawsuits for actions committed by these private employees.

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They are currently getting rid of the Animal Control Officers through attrition. When the current ACOs are gone, guess who gets to take care of barking dogs and other animal related activities — police officers. So we are getting rid of someone who is trained to deal with animal-related issues and make a lot less money than a police officer to have a police officer tied up taking care of animal calls. If they have to transport an animal to Huntington Beach to the animal shelter, how long will they be off of the streets instead of patrolling the streets of Newport Beach?

Newport Beach residents are used to a level of police service not shared by many other cities. This is not going to be the case in the future.

Trent Harris

Huntington Beach

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Bag ordinance has side effects

Regarding "Plastic bag ban in works" (Aug. 18):

The ordinance as proposed would have large unintended consequences that would have several negative impacts:

1. Purchasers of produce and food products would not have a ready resource to dispose of food waste in a sealed fashion, which would proliferate insect, bird and rodent growth.

2. The disabled would be unable to carry purchases of fluids, cans or other heavy items without risk of breakage.

3. Purchases of food, beverages and other items by tourists would be impacted and cause loss of tourist dollars.

If a ban for purposes of protecting wildlife is necessary, then limit the ban geographically to an area near the beach, not in the supermarkets and shopping areas of the city.

Collecting money for paper bags is a harmful intrusion into a depressed economy that discourages consumers. If you make shopping difficult, the customers will go elsewhere every time.

Steve Mahoney

Huntington Beach

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