Neighbors report an increased police presence around the Lido Island Bridge and several citations have been issued this week.
But a police spokesperson said there is no special enforcement push in response to the Newport Indy’s report this month on the sharp increase in illegal jumping from the bridge this summer.
On Aug. 17, the Indy reported that in spite of scores of calls to police this summer about the large number of teens and young adults jumping from the Lido Island Bridge into the harbor waters below, police had issued one citation in the past six months.
Residents complained that in their opinion the city and the police department had done little to stem the tide of jumpers, who are apparently inspired by Internet videos of other jumpers and are coming from throughout Southern California.
In the past week, the NBPD received 12 calls about jumpers at the bridge, and officers issued three citations, said police spokesperson Kathy Lowe.
Asked if the Newport Indy report had spurred a change in the police response to jumping, Lowe said, “No, not that I’m aware of.”
Nevertheless, locals who live or work near the bridge say they have indeed noticed that police have been cracking down on jumpers and writing citations.
Either way, one thing is for certain: people are still jumping from the bridge every day.
This reporter once again spent about 30 minutes at the bridge one day this week, and witnessed more than a half-a-dozen young men and women leap from the bridge in that short time.
No police were seen, but the jumpers hurried away after taking their leaps, rather than just milling around as was observed in the original reporting earlier this month.