LONG BEACH, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Police are increasing their presence on Long Beach this weekend after unsanctioned parties grew out of control and led to violence.
As CBS2’s Cory James reports, it appears Saturday night’s illegal party that was shared on social media did not come together. Officers, however, were out for hours, driving up and down the boardwalk, keeping an eye on possible large gatherings.READ MORE: NYPD: 2 Gunman Wanted After 10 Shot Outside Queens Laundromat
“I just seen a lot of people having fun,” Chris Hallerdin, of Queens, said.
What looks like fun to Hallerdin is illegal in Long Beach.
Video of one of the recent parties that took place shows thousands of people gathering on June 26 near the ocean for an advertised event known as the “sunset party.”
“I can see why people would be mad, but, I don’t know, it’s cool with me,” Hallerdin said.
But it is not cool with Long Beach authorities.
Police Commissioner Ron Walsh says this type of behavior is unacceptable. He believes the parties are being promoted privately on social media, bringing large crowds to an event not licensed to take place.
“We’re all about having peaceful and organized gatherings on our beaches. We welcome people who want to do those type of things, but we’re not going to have random fireworks into the air. We’re not going to have people just disregarding our rules and regs. The most unfortunate thing that happened last week was that there was a shooting,” Long Beach Police Commissioner Ron Walsh said.READ MORE: COVID In New York: Mask Mandates Not Being Re-Imposed Just Yet As Concern Grows Over Delta Variant
According to police, a man was shot in the leg in that incident. They say he was taken to the hospital, had surgery and is expected to make a full recovery.
Since the Fourth of July is this weekend, Walsh says they are going above and beyond to stop these illegal gatherings.
Some, however, feel the added law enforcement is not needed.
“I feel like this is God’s creation, so it’s all free, so I feel like it shouldn’t be none of this police,” Long Island resident Shundell Allen said. “I feel like all of this should be free to the public.”
Others disagree, calling the actions of police smart and necessary to keep beachgoers and the community safe.
“We come often,” said Rita Mask, from Garden City. “You don’t want to be around when there’s a shooting, of course.”
“It’s kind of like the building that collapsed in Florida, right? You learn something like that, then you need to follow up on it so that it doesn’t happen to others,” Garden City resident James Mask said.
Members from several agencies, including Nassau County officers and state troopers, will continue to patrol the area throughout the weekend.MORE NEWS: NYPD: 3 Shot In Washington Heights, No Arrests
The police commissioner says if this continues to get out of hand, they could potentially close the beach down.