Senior “cut” day is coming and the new commander of the 61st Precinct says that he’s ready for it.
Each year, high school teens from surrounding neighborhoods routinely descend on Manhattan Beach in droves during the last two weeks of June.
Last year, so many of them came that things got out of hand. At one point, cops from the 61st Precinct actually put the entire beach under lockdown for a time.
A subsequent e-mail generated by then Manhattan Beach Community Group President Ronald Biondo railing against visitors to the beach as “thugs” sparked controversy and a ton of bad press for the affluent community.
This year, Captain George Mastrokostas says that police will be ready to handle any expected influx of students.
Last week he told the Manhattan Beach Neighborhood Association that NYPD forces will be mobilizing on several fronts.
As cut day approaches residents should expect to see a “highly visible” mobile police command truck roll into the neighborhood in addition to at least one patrol wagon and a mounted police detail.
Personnel from the Uniform School Safety Task Force and Transit District 34 have also been requested to supplement the 61st Precinct’s presence in Manhattan Beach, according to Mastrokostas.
In addition, uniform cops and plain clothes will be paying special attention to the presence of any possible gang activity.
The NYPD is also working with the MTA to increase service on the B1 and B49 bus lines in an effort to move beach-goers quickly out of the neighborhood.
Some police officers might even ride on the buses themselves to monitor students.
Mastrokostas said that police intelligence units will be monitoring schools and social networking sites like MySpace as well in an effort to uncover potential conflicts among students.
The commander also suggested the possibility of erecting police barricades along Oriental Boulevard that would prevent students from walking down Manhattan Beach’s side streets when exiting the neighborhood.
According to Mastrokostas, Manhattan Beach continues to be the “quietest sector in the entire precinct.”
Over the last month, cops issued 12 speeding violations along Oriental Boulevard and made three DWI arrests. Ten drug arrests were also made –all but one of them for marijuana possession. Cops also executed one graffiti arrest.
The lone grand larceny reported during the same time period involved an undisclosed amount of jewelry allegedly taken from a Manhattan Beach home. Police suspect a house cleaner employed in that home.