Harbor patrol representatives, however, state that docking use will increase to 2-4 hours in the near future.
Editor’s Note: This story has be clarified. Corrections and updates are noted in three locations, where there is strikethrough and bold word/phrase.
NEWPORT BEACH—A group of boaters in Newport Beach expressed outrage over the Orange County Sheriff’s Department (OCSD), located at 1901 Bayside Drive, decision to limit a public dingy dock time limit from 72 hours to 20 minutes. An unnamed source close to the matter shared a timeline of events with The Log, providing evidence of the change, including a time when, allegedly, docking was not allowed at all.
Carol Jacobs, City Manager for Newport Beach, told The Log in an email, “I understand several folks are concerned about the removal of the 72 [-hour] time limit on the OCSD Dock. The Harbor Commission and Council are aware of the resident’s concerns however, we have not taken a position on this issue yet.”
OCSD representatives were quick to defend their decision to limit the timeframe. In a phone conversation with Lt. Christopher Corn he told The Log the main reasoning the 20-minute time limit has been instated was due to congestion at the
fueling station pumpout station, which is also located at the dock.
According to Corn and OCSD’s official website, the harbor patrol located in Newport Beach is largely preoccupied with Homeland Security.
The website says, “In response to increased concerns about potential terrorism after the events of September 11, 2001, this bureau became part of the department’s Homeland Security Division. Deputies are on heightened alert to any possibility of terrorist activity, and constantly monitor potential targets within the harbors and along the county coastline.”
Accordingly peace officers, like Corn, would be granted the right to implement
laws guidelines and policies for purposes related to homeland security.
Corn stated he realized a 20-minute time limit could be inconvenient for boaters and time limits were set to be raised to 2 to 4 hours so boaters could shop for groceries and other activities. He mentioned that at this time, while the changes are coming, there is a procedure for creating the correct signage, which has possibly held up the 20-minute time limit being changed.
An unnamed source mentioned that the in addition to the new time limit enforcement, the docks generally gave off a feeling of being unwelcoming (even though they were public use docks) due to signage that read “authorized personnel only.” Corn in response stated the signage would change.
When asked how many complaints he had received about the time limit change, Corn responded that he had received approximately 10 complaints by email.
As a county-run agency, OCSD reports to Orange County officials. The building OCSD resides in currently is property of OC Parks & Recreations, which the department
essentially rents contracts to enforce laws, conduct rescues and respond to fires.
For more information about OCSD, visit the website at ocsd.org/divisions/fieldops/security/harbor/.