In September 2019, San Diego Police said they added two officers dedicated to patrolling the Ocean Beach area on foot, each working 40 hours a week in the area. Some Ocean Beach residents told NBC 7 that they have recently been noticing a difference in the transient community.
Resident Scott Martinez said he's a fan of the recent increased presence. He said he fell in love with the area so much he ditched his Long Beach home and moved to Ocean Beach.
In the past two years, he said what was once a community of people down on their luck living on the streets has turned into people living in beach restrooms and using drugs in public.
"I have seen the change myself. I would be kind of concerned to have friends and family down here. Going down to the seawall is not always a pleasant experience," Martinez explained.
On the other hand, Dustin Bagwell has lived on the streets for seven years and he's known in OB as a "Pretzel." Most of the time he hangs out playing music for locals and tourists walking along Newport.
On Tuesday he said he was confronted by harbor police who told him he couldn't keep his belongings on the sidewalk or the ground unless it was in a very small pile. He felt they should focus on the real issues in the community.
"The real problem is the meth addicts. They are mostly the people who are leaving messes," he said.