Mission Beach Visitors Offer Mixed Reaction to Increased Police Patrols

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Mission Beach has remained peaceful this weekend, days after police stepped up patrols there. A recent string of shootings raised alarms in the area.

In the parking lot next to Belmont Park, the San Diego Police Department has set up a command post. There are also several marked patrol cars to announce their presence.

“Actually, it makes me feel 100% safe to know we have extra law enforcement around here basically this is a family beach and we love to see families come out,” said Orlando Simpson, owner of M & O’s Munch a Bunch.

Simpson and his wife, Michelle, operate a food stand near the boardwalk on the weekends. They know one of the recent shooting victims.

“Their front window got shot and they were very scared for their life,” said Michelle Simpson.

On Sept. 6, a 61-year-old woman was hit by a stray bullet. The victim is a jewelry vendor in Mission Beach. There was a fight near her car, and she was hit by the gunfire. She survived and is still recovering. No arrests have been made.

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On Aug. 8, four people were wounded near Belmont Park. There was a fight a block away from the beach and a gunman opened fire. The four victims were innocent bystanders who were not connected to the original fight.

Many people who live in the area are aware of the recent shootings and welcome more officers.

“I think it’s good for everybody and I think it’s good to point a positive light on law enforcement,” said Yesenia Duarte, a Mission Beach resident.

Police are searching for a pair of gunmen who opened fire during a confrontation at Mission Beach.

According to San Diego Police Department, officers have confiscated 35 loaded guns in the Belmont Park area since June.

Not everyone is convinced more police is the solution.

“I haven’t noticed too much of a difference. Shootings are completely unpredictable,” said Gerald Exe, a Mission Beach resident.

Exe is skeptical of how much crime police can prevent.

Others think resources should be spent elsewhere.

“It’s a very expensive fix. Police get paid more than teachers so for me the investment would be best addressing the root causes and more programs for young people,” said Eric Chavez, a San Diego resident.

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