Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Ordinance Enforcement 101; Lesson 1

Wednesday, Sept. 24, 2008

COUNTY RECURRENT Presents: Ordinance Enforcement 101:

Lesson I: Nudity On The Beach

I. Hypothetical: "There you are in the last half-hour of your shift, the sun is setting, and you have a few swimmers still in the water, when you notice an attractive young couple (late 20's, early 30's) approximately one tower's distance from your tower, in waist deep surf in close proximity to each other and otherwise in a lover's embrace buoyed by the salt water. You continue to watch the water and scan your area to make sure all swimmers are safe; you look right: Lifeguard at Tower #6, check. As you gaze left again you notice the couple leaving the water and given your sharp eyesight and experience your brain says, "she's not wearing ANYTHING !" Thinking "ordinance enforcement" potential, you reach for your Bushnell 10 x 50's and sure enough, you were right ! She is completely NAKED head to toe. You also file away other statistics such as blond, female, approx. 5' 7", slender, perfect.., skip that and, hmm, she must use a hair removal product... (OMG ! This woman is a 10 !.... I can't believe my eyes !.... GET HOLD OF YOURSELF, MAN !.....) OK, OK, FOCUS..... Again, you scan the water in your area because you know that the Lifeguard Manual instructs that "Ordinance Enforcement" is secondary and can only be conducted so long as there is no risk to the swimmers in your area. And so you continue to watch the water, scanning left and right, using your binoculars to check all swimmers and bathers in your area... Lifeguard in Tower #6, check ! You do not take a photo because you do not carry a sophisticated camera with a 1000 mm telephoto lens (Darn!) and your miniature 3 mega pixel piece of crap digital camera can in no way, shape or form capture the aforementioned ordinance violation with any specificity.

(x-ref: hypothetical geographic template: Will Rogers Tower 8, at approx. 1830 hrs; aforementioned bathers sighted at WR T-10).

II. Issue: What are the relevant County Codes and Lifeguard manual guidelines for this, albeit, "hypothetical" situation.

III. Answer:

A. Los Angeles, California County Code


Chapter 17.12 BEACHES[9]

17.12.360 Nudity and disrobing.
A. No person shall appear, bathe, sunbathe, walk, change clothes, disrobe or be on any beach in such manner that the genitals, vulva, pubis, pubic symphysis, pubic hair, buttocks, natal cleft, perineum, anus, anal region or pubic hair region of any person, or any portion of the breast at or below the upper edge of the areola thereof of any female person, is exposed to public view, except in those portions of a comfort station, if any, expressly set aside for such purpose.
B. This section shall not apply to persons under the age of 10 years, provided such children are sufficiently clothed to conform to accepted community standards.
C. This section shall not apply to persons engaged in a live theatrical performance in a theater, concert hall, or similar establishment which is primarily devoted to theatrical performances. (Ord. 11175 § 1, 1975: Ord. 9767 Art. 3 § 51, 1969.)

B. County of Los Angeles Lifeguard Training Manual, Section 3 Lifeguard Operations, Law Enforcement

Ordinance Enforcement (pages 3.30 - 3.31)
A Lifeguard's prime responsibility is to safeguard the people swimming in their water. At no time should any ordinance enforcement be allowed to interfere with complete water coverage. Ordinance violators must be dealt with firmly, but with courtesy and tact. Clear communication to the violator of the ordinance, and the underlying reasons for it, are the best means of dealing with the violation quickly and efficiently. If questioned, be clear in stating your authority and concern for their safety. To do this, you must understand those ordinances affecting your beach. You will occasionally be confronted by continued resistance, reluctance or antagonism on the part of the violator. Should such a situation occur, do not waste time with it. Back off and call headquarters, requesting them to summon your area supervisor. Your area supervisor will determine if the police agency having jurisdiction over your beach should be called for enforcement. Upon the arrival of a police officer, a Lifeguard can describe a violation they have witnessed. If you are acting upon information supplied by a beach patron, keep that person near your tower so the police will have the opportunity to obtain all necessary information. The violator can be apprehended, and a citation can be issued by the police officer, and signed by the Lifeguard, if the lifeguard witnessed the violation. Lifeguards are not authorized to cite, but can make an arrest as a private citizen, or public officer (P.C. 836.5 and 837).

The Beach Ordinance (in part; page 3.31)
The beach ordinances are all misdemeanor offenses or infractions, meaning that only the person who sees the violation can make an arrest or sign a complaint. When a violation is reported to a Lifeguard, the following procedure should be followed:
• Ask the person to remain at your station. If there are witnesses, request they stay and speak with the police.
• Notify your immediate supervisor.
• If you can safely do so without interfering with your water coverage, keep the suspect under surveillance. If the suspect attempts to leave, request assistance from Area Headquarters. Inform the complainant that they can make an arrest and request aid from other citizens.


What conclusions can be drawn from this hypothetical ?

A. What was I, I mean, what were you thinking by not running down there to evaluate the unclothed beach patron for vitals, hypothermia, ordinance enforcement and follow up contact information.
B. Why did you not have her male beach patron companion/suspect arrested and taken away by the police, as per the County Code and Beach Ordinance.
C. Why didn't you offer her a ride home as a "good samaritan"?

D. That you did continue to put public safety first by watching the water and did not make the ordinance enforcement because that would have necessitated leaving the tower and not being able to watch the swimmers at adjacent Tower 7.
E. That you continued to surveil the suspect, I mean, suspects with respect to the aforementioned ordinance violation without interfering with your water coverage.
F. That by the time the swimmers in your area exited the water (Finally !... "F"!), the suspects had retreated to the parking lot and clothed themselves on the way and then drove off away from, as opposed to into the sunset, in a silver late model convertible 3 series bmw with the Calif. license plate.........


Will Maguire,
on behalf of COUNTY RECURRENT News

DISCLAIMER: This email and its contents and specifically the "hypothetical" and its resolution discussed herein are intended to provide academic and satirical consideration to certain narrow hypothetical ordinance related incidents that may or may not occur on the beach, together with the use of humor to highlight the issues contained in said hypothetical.

County Recurrent is not affiliated with nor sponsored by LACoFD or LACOLA or the El Camino College History Dept.

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