The night of October 8 saw the formation of the first meeting of the Ocean Beach Citizens’ Patrol. Over 40 people showed up at the Tower Two Café on Abbott Street to organize themselves into patrol units of (ideally) three people each.
The decision to form a citizens’ patrol arose last week at a meeting to discuss solutions to end the rash of sexual assaults and peeping tom incidents that have plagued Ocean Beach recently. Police say there have been seven cases of a peeping tom and three sexually motivated attacks in the past couple months.
At last night’s meeting, hosted and led by Tim Nolan, the owner of Tower Two, people signed up on sheets to start the first patrol on the evenings of October 12 and 13, which coincides with the O.B. Oktoberfest.
Nolan said a citizens’ patrol was started in the '70s and that he was the one that helped organize it. He has been a resident for over 27 years, and talked about how he doesn't want to fear for his kids’ lives while they’re walking the streets.
Nolan displayed such things as small, powerful flashlights and whistles and said he is planning to supply them for patrol units. He added that we need to work with the police and not against them. (At the September 26 Ocean Beach Town Council meeting, police were present and told by audience members that they were not doing enough to catch the perpetrators.)
On Friday, patrols will go out from 9 p.m. to 12 a.m., and then again at midnight until 3 a.m. A handout with guidelines and safety issues will be given on Friday. The goal is to prevent, not provoke, Nolan stated.
The O.B. Citizens’ Patrol will meet again next Tuesday evening, October 16, 7 p.m., at Tower Two.