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Laguna Beach


Police Files

Marine Safety wants beach-goers to be aware and be prepared for stormy conditions 

Marine Safety Capt Kai Bond said it’s important to take heed of the rainy conditions that have hit the area and Laguna’s beaches. 

“Anytime there’s lots of rain and lots of surf we tell people to be aware of their surroundings and stay off the rocks,” Capt Bond said.

He warned that the rocks with the high surf and high tides can be very dangerous, as can lightning. When lightning strikes there’s a protocol that Marine Safety and the City addresses when it hits within a certain distance of the beach.

“We essentially close the beach and water for a certain period of time until that lightning is no longer there,” Capt Bond said. “The particular closure that happened Thursday [yesterday] at 1:40 p.m. It was approximately 30 minutes based on the fact that there was a lightning strike within a 10-mile radius of the area.” 

It’s important for people in the water to get out as quickly as possible and seek shelter. 

Police Files Storms

Click on photo for a larger image 

Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Laguna’s beaches closed on Thursday due to lightning danger

 “Heed the warning of any public safety personnel closing any particular area for any particular reason; it is for the good of public safety,” Capt Bond said. “Whether it be beach access or in this case a beach due to lightning, it’s important to follow the direction and warning from our police, fire, marine safety, and public works personnel.”

In any rain event, OC Health recommends that people stay out of the water up to 72 hours due to beach runoff.

“The Environmental Health staff advises swimmers that levels of bacteria can rise significantly in ocean and bay waters adjacent to storm drains, creeks and rivers during and after rainstorms. The elevated levels of bacteria can continue for a period of at least three days depending upon the intensity of the rain and the volume of the runoff. Swimmers should avoid coastal waters impacted by discharging storm drains, creeks and rivers, and beach users should avoid contact with any runoff on the beach during dry or wet weather conditions,” according to OC Health Agency at www.ocbeaches.com. 

Myriad bacteria, chemicals, debris, and trash among other hazards from runoff can contaminate ocean waters and beaches after rain.

City’s first SRO puts students first hoping to 

make an impact that lasts

LBPD Corporal Cornelius Ashton is the City’s first SRO for LBUSD and he couldn’t be happier. He worked hard to make the position become a reality for Laguna Beach schools, importantly for the kids. 

Corporal Ashton has 18 years of law enforcement experience, including 15 years at the San Diego Community School District, and three years with LBPD.

With his prior role as a juvenile crime detective, Cpl Ashton found that whenever he was going to the high school or any of the schools it was always for negative situations.

“I started taking a hard look at what our police department is doing for positive engagement with our kids. I saw the need to have an SRO for our schools,” Cpl Ashton said. “I started looking further and saw that we were the only city to not have a dedicated School Resource Officer.”

Police Files Ashton High Five

Click on photo for a larger image 

Courtesy Instagram @lagunabeachpd_sro

Cpl Ashton loves engaging with students; he has a smile on his face everyday, living his dream

He dove in, researched, and wrote a proposal and gave it to his command staff. Through his findings, they saw a need for the SRO role. 

Starting this school year, he was given a two-year contract, and he’s making the most of every minute.

“I do so many things. I do a lot of mentoring for kids. They’re virtually implementing me into their school curriculum. Anywhere they feel I can educate the kids from a police perspective, I teach. It can be anything from health education to government to economics to just going to the classes,” Cpl Ashton said. “I have been working with the social emotion counselor on resilience, stress management, and I could go on and on. I do a lot of co-teaching.”

He takes part in a lot of school events, including WEB Wednesday, “Where Everybody Belongs”. It’s for diversity and inclusion.

“It shows that everyone can come together and everyone has a place,” Cpl Ashton said.

Police Files Ashton at El Morro

Click on photo for a larger image 

Courtesy Instagram @lagunabeachpd_sro

Cpl Ashton teaching El Morro Elementary students about Halloween Safety

He attends events and is really present on the campuses in myriad capacities. 

“My goal is for all the kids here to essentially grow up with a police officer,” Cpl Ashton said. “I feel the more positive interaction they have with police officers the more comfortable they are going to be around them in adulthood and the less likely they’re going to be involved in criminal activity.”

He explained that he wears a lot of different hats working with students, staff, parents, and administration.

“The synergy is just amazing. It’s so extremely positive,” he said.

While people think that there are so many issues going on at the local schools, he said it’s not true.

The main issue is learning coping skills.

“Helping kids to understand to slow things down and take things one at a time and not try to do so much at once. They get flustered easily they want to do well in every aspect of their life,” Cpl Ashton said. “I tell them they need to take time to break things down and sometimes they just need someone to hear them.”

He really encourages communication. He greets each student and asks how they are and really listens before he talks to the next student. It’s critical for each student to be heard and to empower them to be better.

“It’s more than I expected. I feel like I am living out my destiny in this role. My gifts are empowering and motivating. I am like a life coach. As a police officer, I have always had this gift to help people though problems, make them smile again, and see the best within themselves. It’s the most amazing feeling ever.” 

LBPD Cpl Ashton, SRO, wanted to make sure that anyone who wants to reach out to him can find him on Instagram at www.instagram.com/lagunabeachpd_SRO or via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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Alexis Amaradio, Barbara Diamond, Dennis McTighe, Diane Armitage, Lynette Brasfield, Marrie Stone, Maggi Henrikson, Samantha Washer, and Suzie Harrison are our writers and/or columnists. Scott Brashier is our photographer.

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