Police and lifeguard summer plans ramping up

As the crowds in La Jolla increase for the summer, so will the number of public safety officials at the beach.

“A lot of good plans are in place,” said San Diego police Lt. Matt Botkin at the May 8 meeting of the La Jolla Shores Association

Currently, the SDPD summer beach teams are live, Botkin said, which include “an influx of seven additional officers full time assigned to the beach.”

For the Memorial Day weekend, May 25-27, there will be about 120 police officers assigned specifically to the beach, Botkin said, which stretches from Mission Bay and Mission Beach north to Torrey Pines State Beach.

More than 20 police units will also be on hand, Botkin said, including the department’s drone unit, which will be used to help with missing children “and allowing us to have some really good situational awareness for critical incidents.”

The beach teams work from noon to 8 p.m. daily, he said, with a sparser night beach team on duty from 6 p.m. to 4 a.m. Fridays through Mondays.

A crucial component of the summer safety plan is that “officers don’t look away,” Botkin said. “We’re really emphasizing to them that it’s important to take action.”

This season will be “the safest, most enjoyable summer of this year. I promise,” he said.

Lifeguard stations will also see an increase in staffing throughout La Jolla, which runs from Bird Rock Avenue north to the upper end of Black’s Beach, and three miles out into the ocean, with boating safety units and rescue watercraft able to respond to incidents. 

Summer operations for the lifeguards begin Friday, June 7 and run through Labor Day in September, according to San Diego lifeguard Lt. Lonnie Stephens.

During that time, there will be about 80 lifeguards in La Jolla from 8 a.m. until sunset, he said, focusing on observation, prevention and rescue.

Picture of Elisabeth Frausto

Elisabeth Frausto

Elisabeth Frausto has been reporting on and writing about La Jolla since 2019. With dozens of local and state journalism awards to her name, Elisabeth knows the industry as well as she knows her community. When she’s not covering all things 92037, you’ll find her with coffee in hand staring at the sea.
Picture of Elisabeth Frausto

Elisabeth Frausto

Elisabeth Frausto has been reporting on and writing about La Jolla since 2019. With dozens of local and state journalism awards to her name, Elisabeth knows the industry as well as she knows her community. When she’s not covering all things 92037, you’ll find her with coffee in hand staring at the sea.

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