Because Independence Day falls on a Wednesday, Sanders said police are preparing for holiday crowds from Friday, June 29, through Sunday, July 8.
Capt. Boyd Long from the San Diego Police Department (SDPD) Northern Division said the city is estimating 1.7 million people will visit city beaches from Ocean Beach to La Jolla over the 10-day period. July 4 will be the busiest day, with an estimated 600,000 people.
In preparation for the large crowds, Long said SDPD will maintain high visibility to ensure a safe environment. He said vice and Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC) officers will patrol the bars and nightclubs and DUI enforcement officers will be stopping anyone suspected of drunk driving.
If you come to the beach and drink alcohol then drive, expect to meet one of our officers," Boyd said at the Monday, June 25, press conference at Ventura Place.
While drinking is allowed between the hours of noon and 8 p.m. at Ocean Beach, Mission Beach, Pacific Beach and Mission Bay Park with the exception of Santa Clara Point, Boyd also reminded the public to remember that no glass is allowed at the beach and kegs are illegal on the Fourth of July. SDPD will also set up a number of command posts throughout the area.
The primary command post will be located at De Anza Cove, 2727 De Anza Road. Smaller command posts will be located at the Fiesta Island entrance, Belmont Park, the foot of Reed Street, Fanuel Street Park, Ski Beach, La Jolla at 1100 Coast Blvd., and Ocean Beach at the corner of Newport and Abbott.
"Officers will be on patrol on foot, by bike, motorcycle, ATV, car, boat and air," Long said.
He also wants the public to know that it is illegal to smoke at the beach, on the boardwalk and in city parks.
While drinking is allowed Ocean Beach, Mission Beach, Pacific Beach and Mission Bay Park with the exception of Santa Clara Point, Boyd also reminded the public to remember that no glass is allowed at the beach and kegs are illegal on the Fourth of July.
Lifeguard Chief Ken Hewitt said lifeguards will be on the lookout for risky behavior. While lifeguards performed 1,284 rescues last Fourth of July, he said the department performed thousands of preventative actions to keep the public safe.
Thirty lifeguard towers from Ocean Beach to La Jolla will be staffed with 180 lifeguards daily from 9 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. from June 30 through July 3 and July 5 through 8.
On July 4, 210 lifeguards will be on duty from 6 a.m. until the fireworks shows conclude between 10:30 and 11 p.m.
Hewitt said beachgoers should swim near lifeguard towers and keep children away from the fire square
Acting Deputy Director of Developed Regional Parks Kathleen Hasenauer said to handle the expected 150 tons of trash generated over the holiday, the city will be bringing in more dumpsters to handle the enormous amount.
"We'll be handing out free trash bags, so if you pack it in, pack it out," she said.
Hasenauer also said beach cleaning crews will begin picking up trash at 5 a.m. then use heavy equipment to rake and clean the sand.