* This story was written by Jeff Lipton.
Beach police rounded up 11 suspects during Saturday’s Irish Day festivities in
incidents ranging from disorderly conduct to assault, authorities said.
arrests were for a wide range of activities,” said Sgt. Eric Cregeen, a
spokesman for the Long Beach Police Department. “It was par for the course.”
said the 11 arrests included five suspects nabbed for disorderly conduct, two
on public lewdness charges and one felonious assault. The other charges
included municipal code violations and an arrest on a warrant.
addition, more than 75 appearance tickets were issued for quality of life
violations, including having an open alcoholic beverage in public and urinating
At least one person was injured in connection with the assault, Cregeen said.
officials were hoping for a more family-friendly atmosphere at Saturday’s event
and had warned Irish Day festival-goers to stay away
if they could not behave
themselves. For the most part the message was
received, Cregeen believes.
would have been great if we didn’t have any arrests, but some people find it
hard to operate within the confines of the law,” he said. “It was a nice
crowd this year. It was crowded down there all day and it was a good family
said the event was made even better because the bar owners complied with their
wishes to close earlier.
closed their doors at 1 a.m. and the lights went out at 2," Cregeen said. "It really made a big
difference this year. Because
of the compliance by the bars, we saved a considerable amount of money in
The bars closing earlier also allowed police officers to be dismissed sooner. “We
were able to send some police officers home as early as 10 p.m., and then we
were able to send others home every hour from there,” he added.
shopkeepers in Long Beach raised about $25,000 to pay for overtime for police,
according to Bernie Petty, Irish Day Parade Chairman for the Ancient Order of
new 11 a.m. starting time, an hour earlier than the traditional noon start, for
the parade also apparently helped to keep crowds more under control. As a
result, West Beech Street was also opened an hour earlier at 5 p.m., which
aided in more quickly dispersing the crowds.
think it went pretty smoothly considering the amount of people that were
there,” said Cregeen.
suspects were arrested for being “engaged in a lewd act,” said Cregeen, who
would not elaborate.
End resident Richard Papetti had said before the event that based on the
summer, which saw an increase in enforcement, he expected even more stepped up
enforcement during Irish Day, with more tickets being handed out.
End residents had complained about the rowdy and lewd behavior during the past
several Irish Day festivals. Earlier this year, they even suggested moving it
to the East End or cancelling it altogether in 2012, given the disorderly
conduct and the city’s current fiscal crisis.
said the Hibernians, which has sponsored the festival for the last 23 years,
were notified by the city administration about five weeks before the event that
issues had to be resolved, which led to the time changes. This gave them little
time to note the changes in posters, letters and flyers advertising the event,
Manager Jack Schnirman said he was very pleased with how the festival turned
out, and that starting the parade
an hour earlier and opening Beech Street an hour earlier “made a significant
police commissioner and the police force did a fantastic job,” said Schnirman,
who rode along with the police and observed the event from the beginning to the
said getting the word out about the city’s zero tolerance policy toward unruly
revelers played a significant role in keeping the crowd in check.
been talking to residents and I’ve been told this was the smoothest and most
orderly Irish Day anybody has seen,” said Schnirman, a West End resident.
he said he will review the events of the day and attempt to improve upon it in
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