By Joe Capozzi

Residents in Briny Breezes and Ocean Ridge can expect to see more police activity this year — and a greater chance police will stop them — because of a new program aimed at deterring potential criminals from “casing” those towns. 
“We want to create an environment ... where criminals don’t feel welcome to come here,’’ Ocean Ridge Police Chief Richard Jones told Briny’s Town Council on Feb. 24. 
“We want our presence to overwhelm them and every time they drive through the area we want them to see a police car with flashing lights on it with people pulled over.’’  
The proactive approach, launched Jan. 10 in response to a rash of car thefts and boat burglaries in Ocean Ridge and neighboring Briny Breezes, calls for officers to initiate action without being dispatched to a call, said Jones, whose department provides police services to Briny Breezes under a contract with the town.
That increases the likelihood drivers will be pulled over for seat-belt violations, broken taillights and rolling through stop signs.
At times “you may be more likely to be stopped because of a traffic infraction,’’ Jones said. “You’re probably not going to get a citation depending on your demeanor with the officer. You’re probably going to get a warning. However, if you are criminal in nature, if you’re here for the wrong reasons, you don’t belong, you will probably get a citation and you may go to jail.’’
From Jan. 10 to Feb. 1, police made 347 incident reports in Briny Breezes. In January 2021, that number was “well below 100,’’ Jones told the council. He didn’t offer specific numbers for Ocean Ridge, but said incident reports there jumped “about 600% in January.’’
It’s too early to declare the program a success, Jones said in an interview after the meeting, but he pointed out that there had been no car or boat thefts since the program took effect.
Jones said police always encounter people who complain about being stopped for what they perceive as minor infractions. But he said he believes residents in both towns will welcome the new program.
In a related matter, Briny Breezes will consider installing a license plate recognition camera at the south end of town later this year. 
There’s a camera on the north end, at Cordova Avenue and State Road A1A, but it can’t capture images on the south end of town, Jones told the council.
Ocean Ridge has four LPR cameras and plans to add four more. A camera on the south end of Briny Breezes would “completely encapsulate both Briny and Ocean Ridge into one single LPR system that really gives us the coverage we need,’’ the chief said.

In other Briny Breezes news:
• The council held a moment of silence to honor former Alderwoman Nancy Boczon, who died Feb. 15. She served on the council from 2008-14. “What I remember most about Nancy was how helpful she was. She knew everything,’’ council President Sue Thaler said. “And her cats, Trixie, Pixie, Dixie, I can’t remember how many she had. One after the other with ‘ixie’ names. Very clever.’’
• The council’s annual organizational meeting will be 3 p.m. March 15 at Town Hall.
• The council will consider appointments to the Planning and Zoning board on March 24. Interested residents should contact the town clerk.

 

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  • Just because "Stop and Frisk" was ruled unconstitutional in New York, that cuts no glass down here.  Bad guys are not going to have the upper hand in OR or BB.  Take it somewhere else...or else.  

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