Cali Beach Town Cracks Down on Boozy July 4th Revelers
This year, party destination Hermosa Beach is armed with extra cops and a "jail bus."
Every fourth of July, Hermosa Beach, California attracts thousands of "young, hip" partiers celebrating the nation's birth. But law enforcement will be out in full force this year, cracking down on public intoxication and other offenses after the city experienced a marked rise in arrests on last year's Fourth. The beach town is known for its Independence Day festivities, and some residents have complained that the town becomes overrun with hoards of "drunk people acting crazy," brawls, "girls half-naked pot smoking in the street," and loud music. Many locals even skip town for the day to escape the pandemonium. "Unfortunately, I think we've started to gain a reputation as some place where you can come and just go wild," says Mayor Kit Bobko. "What we're saying is be responsible and don't treat our city like it's a spring break town. Because it's not." Rowdy revelers this year could be slapped with tripled fines for offenses like open containers and public intoxication, which can cost up to $500. Throughout the entire week, more than 100 law enforcement officers will be out patrolling the city, including 50 LA county sheriff's deputies and undercover enforcement officers from the state's Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control. There will even be a 35-foot "jail bus"—to prevent overcrowding in the town's local jail, which was filled to capacity last year. Some residents, like Bill Reckner, 44, call the crackdown "ridiculous." In response to cops pouring out a couple's vodka into the sand, Reckner commented: "This is a local beach, and someone should give them a break."