Oceanside police need to be seen in the community.
Recently, a local woman was beaten by the Oceanside pier while walking her dog. The man who was apprehended was young and homeless. The blood is still on the concrete.
I live close to the pier, and walk or run in the area every day. Police patrol often in their cars, but only once have I seen a policeman outside of their car in 18 months. This is a problem for an area with so much promise, but so many vagrants.
The police cannot effectively serve our beach community from inside of a vehicle. The beach facilities are set down, out of sight from the road. There is a “beach facility” of the police department by the amphitheater, but it is closed at night. Ironically, vagrants camp out around it.
I’m particularly troubled by the fact that people sleep in the below-ground walkway on Pier View.
This is often used by visitors with families to get from the hotels to the restaurants and attractions.
There is one way in, and one way out. I encountered a homeless man in the tunnel who said “are you too good to look me in the eye?” I was uncomfortable, and alone.
I’m an enthusiastic supporter of local Oceanside businesses.
I’ve found that many of these businesses are run by sole proprietors who have put their savings at risk.
I admire them because while Oceanside is up and coming, it is still somewhat unchartered territory. We need to keep people safe so our community can continue to thrive and reach its full potential. I’m out there in my community. Can my protectors say the same?
Suzanne Whitlock is an Oceanside resident.