NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) –– Many people are used to getting their bags searched at airports and stadiums, but how would they feel if their bags were checked at the beach?
Some are suggesting the radical security measure at Brighton Beach in Brooklyn, reports CBS 2’s Hazel Sanchez.
A deadly shooting on the Brighton Beach Boardwalk was a shock for many people living nearby.
“They could use some security around here, especially in the summer time,” resident Edward Katz said. “It could help.”
“I came out here, and there were thousands of kids out here,” Gary Walters said. “It was like 95 degrees out.”
Police stepped up their presence in the area, but many say that’s simply not enough.
“I think we have to have more police,” one resident said.
Some residents suggested increasing police patrols at subway stations near the beach as an extra layer of security, and most locals said that was reasonable. Others, though, want a drastic and controversial security change: random bag searches.
“What we need to do is check for weapons in people’s bags, and check for alcohol in people’s bags, when they come to the beach – because those are two illegal things – to make people who are coming to the beach know that they can’t bring these types of things to the beach anymore,” one Brighton Beach resident said.
Some said that random bag searches cross the line.
“A lot of time, you’re taking innocent people and looking, and it’s not right,” Brighton Beach resident Bernice Katz said.
“Seems to me there are problems with violating people’s civil rights, checking bags,” another resident, Irene Sigmund, said.
Attorney Arthur Schwartz said random searches at Brighton Beach would be against the law.
“Random bag searches on a public street, which is what a boardwalk is, or on the streets around the boardwalk, would really violate the 4th Amendment of the US Constitution,” Schwartz said.
Still, some residents said that safety should be the primary concern.
“It hasn’t stopped anyone before,” resident Clyde Bartel said. “They all have the guns – we don’t.”
Locals said they just hope that added security, in whatever form it takes, won’t make visitors think Brighton Beach isn’t a peaceful and safe place.
Local leaders are also encouraging concerned residents to start up neighborhood watch groups.
Do you support the idea of bag checks at the boardwalk? Is it a good idea? Sound off in our comments section.