More lifeguards at LA County beaches for Memorial Day weekend

With the arrival of Memorial Day weekend, the unofficial start of the summer season, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and county lifeguards are staffing the area’s beaches.

The sheriff’s department will kick off its “Beach Patrol Mission” program on Saturday, which will run through Labor Day, officials said. Deputies will conduct highly visible patrols of beaches from Playa del Rey to Malibu.

“We are expanding our resources to make people feel safe wherever they are, including on beaches in Los Angeles County,” Sheriff Alex Villanueva said in a statement.

Members of the Sheriff’s Homeless Mental Assessment and Outreach Team will also be part of the beach patrols. The ministry did not say how many MPs and other staff would be involved in the program.

Los Angeles County lifeguards are also expected to increase numbers this weekend, depending on weather and other conditions.

“We have 155 towers and we’re trying to staff as many as we can,” said county ocean lifeguard specialist Pono Barnes. “Memorial Day weekend is quite popular for the beach.”

County lifeguards are also expected to staff beaches with larger mobile units that can be seen patrolling beaches in pickup trucks.

Unlike the sheriff’s patrols, the increased presence of lifeguards will not continue throughout the summer. The staff is often adjusted according to public holidays and the weather.

Los Angeles Times

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