Pet Peeves


Bye-Bye Beach Days


By Mark D. Crantz

“Why the long face?’ asked the senior beach patrol officer. The young officer shrugged, “It’s nothing, really.” “Well it sure looks like something,” coaxed the older patrolman. “Okay, I’ll tell you. I’ve been reassigned.” The senior officer asked “Where to? South Laguna beaches?” The young officer shook his head, “Nope. I’m up the canyon now.” “Up the canyon? There’s no beach there.” The young officer grimaced. “I know. That’s the problem. I’ve been sent to the Alternate Sleeping Location.” The older officer suppressed a smile. “Oh, that smarts. Won’t be seeing any bikinis up there.”

The Alternate Sleeping Location serving Laguna Beach’s homeless population will receive security upgrades recently approved by the City Council. Beach patrol officers will be assigned to search guests coming to the ASL from 5-9 p.m. daily for alcohol, drugs and weapons. Beach patrol officers, who are non-sworn city employees, will patrol the shelter’s interior, parking lot and adjacent creek.

“Should I quit?” asked the young officer. “Why would you? It’s an important job to protect our most vulnerable people of the community,” answered the senior officer. The young officer kicked some sand. “I know. You’re right. But still…” The senior officer asked, “But what?” The young officer hesitated a beat and confessed, “I was hoping to meet my future wife at this job.” The senior officer winced. “Well, for the time being, stay on”

In addition, City Council approved a $10,000 metal detector to prevent weapons from being brought into the shelter. This precaution should go a long way to assuage the homeless, who have complained that they cannot sleep at night in fear of belongings being stolen or possible assault.

“You know, this reassignment is no day at the beach in other ways, too,” cried the young officer. “I’m a day person. Not a night person. I need to sleep at night. My Cicada Rhythm will be all out of whack.” The senior officer commiserated, “You’ll get used to it. Just takes some time.” The young officer sighed. “No, it won’t. I did third shift once. I broke out in pimples. Severest case of acne my doctor ever saw. He said it was caused from the lack of daylight.” The senior officer, flummoxed, blurted out, “Well, now that’s a problem. You’ll have to change your pictures.” The young officer buried his head in the sand, muffled, “I’ll never find my future wife.”


Crantz tells the Indy that he hopes the shelter is a safer place now. As for the young beach patrol officers making the sacrifice to help others first, I applaud you.



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