Newport Beach City Manager Update: NBPD Crime Prevention Upgrades, Free Balboa Trolley

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Grace Leung

By Grace Leung, Newport Beach City Manager

A series of recommendations to improve the Newport Beach Police Department’s crime prevention and investigation techniques through upgrades in technology will move forward, following a presentation to the Newport Beach City Council.

At a City Council study session on Tuesday, May 28, Newport Beach Police Chief Joe Cartwright and Deputy Chief Javier Aguilar presented findings and recommendations from the Public Safety Technology Ad Hoc Committee.

The committee spent several months evaluating new technologies used by neighboring police departments, and visited agencies where some of the proposed technologies are now in use.

The primary goal, Chief Cartwright told the Council, is to equip officers and civilian police staff with the latest tools to gather and analyze crime information to improve decision-making, which will aid in crime prevention, the apprehension of criminals, and the recovery of stolen property. Deployment of the technology will also act as a deterrent for individuals and groups who evaluate potential crime targets, increasing overall community safety.

The committee recommendations include:

  • Developing a Crime Information Center (CIC) to serve as the central technology hub for real-time intelligence gathering and assessments. The CIC would integrate new technologies with existing data systems to provide real-time information to field officers, analyze crime tends and patterns, and aid in crime prevention.
  • Installing 70 Flock cameras (also known as ALPR, or automatic license plate readers) at all Newport Beach inbound and outbound gateways. The system includes access to nationwide data and flags “hotlisted” vehicles that have been used in crimes. The system provides alerts on stolen vehicles, Amber Alerts, missing and endangered persons, and more. The cameras will only be accessed as part of a crime investigation (not for traffic enforcement) and do not include facial recognition. Such cameras are already in use in 42 states and nearly 300 California jurisdictions.
  • Licensing FUSUS software to boost the department’s access to video surveillance. FUSUS brings together video feeds from private, institutional and government systems, and integrates them into a single, cloud-based platform. Investigations can proceed more quickly because private video feeds can be accessed immediately, rather than gathered from various locations. Participation is voluntary for businesses and others with video feeds, such as homeowners associations, who wish to include their cameras in the system.
  • Developing a drone program. The NBPD will develop a program in which aerial drones would be used to monitor and investigate crime incidents.

Public safety is a top priority in Newport Beach, and these investments will help our Police Department further reduce crime and bring more criminals to justice. I look forward to updating our community as these strategies are developed further and implemented over the next several months.

To view the full presentation, visit this link on our YouTube channel (the presentation starts at about 1:10):

Newport Coast Pickleball League Play Kicks Off

On Tuesday, eight teams kicked off the Newport Coast pickleball court’s intermediate women’s pickleball league play. League play provides teams of two to four players with 70 minutes to compete against one another in a 10-week season, including playoffs. The inaugural summer season also includes intermediate men’s and intermediate co-ed play. For more information on fall league dates and registration, please contact [email protected] or visit

NBPD Joins Community for Memorial Day Observances

Throughout the week, the Newport Beach Police Department attended numerous Memorial Day events to honor the military personnel who died in service to their country.

NBPD officers and staff participated in ceremonies and community gatherings to remember the service men and women who paid the ultimate sacrifice, ensuring that their courage and commitment are never forgotten.

Ride the Free Balboa Trolley Until September 2

The Balboa Peninsula Trolley resumde operations with free service continuing throughout the summer on weekends and holidays.

The trolley service will be available from 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays as well as on July 3, Independence Day (July 4), and Labor Day (September 4). The trolley is a fun and free way to explore the Balboa Peninsula.

Passengers disembark from the Balboa Peninsula Trolley during a previous summer service. — Photo by Christopher Trela ©

There are 22 designated stops along the trolley route. Trolleys are scheduled to arrive in 15-minutes intervals, which may vary slightly depending on traffic conditions. Riders are invited to climb aboard or exit the trolley at any of the stops along the way to and from the Balboa Pier and Fun Zone area.

For those planning a day at the beach, the trolley can accommodate bicycles, surfboards under six feet long, and beach gear. Trolley riders traveling from outside the area can utilize free parking at the City’s Avon Street municipal parking lot, located near the intersection of Tustin Avenue and Avon Street.

This service is provided by the City of Newport Beach and funded through grants from the Orange County Transportation Authority (Measure M2 funds). For more information visit

Registration for Summer Classes Now Open

Get ready for an exciting summer! Registration for the City’s summer classes is now open. See the latest Newport Navigator at for information on summer classes for all ages and interests, as well as community events such as Movies in the Park and July 4 is for Families.

Be Well Mobile Crisis Response Team

The Be Well mobile crisis response team operates in Newport Beach 12 hours a day, seven days a week to respond to mental and behavioral health crises. The mobile unit is staffed with mental health specialists and works closely with the City’s police and fire departments.

This week, the Be Well team:

  • Reunified a person with their family.
  • Transported a person to the Be Well sobering station.
  • Transported a person to a medical appointment.
  • Transported a person to a bus stop to return home.
  • Collaborated with the Newport Beach Fire Department to treat a person fleeing domestic violence.

The mobile crisis team is dispatched through the Newport Beach Police Department. To request service, dial 911 or call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at (949) 644-3717.

Homelessness Update

This week, the City’s homeless outreach and response teams:

  • Placed two people at the Costa Mesa Bridge Shelter.
  • Enrolled three people into services.
  • Continued to shelter people. 26 people who had been experiencing homelessness in Newport Beach are sheltered in the Costa Mesa Bridge Shelter.

Click here to view the latest homeless dashboard, which includes key monthly and yearly data on the City’s homeless response:

Click here for information on the City’s Good Giving program:

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