After a rise in shootings this year, Long Beach is trying to head off violence during the summer by giving youth more opportunities and making sure police are out in parks and neighborhoods.

Summer is an exciting time for students getting a break, Mayor Rex Richardson said, but, “during the warm, summer months, when school is out, cities across California and throughout our nation tend to see an increase in violence impacting residents. These incidents have a disproportionate impact on young people, particularly youth of color in low-income neighborhoods.”

The summer initiative, called STRONG Beach (an acronym for Standing Together to Reach Our Next Generation), stitches together new and existing programs designed around three core goals: expanding summer activities for youth, suppressing violence and engaging neighborhoods across Long Beach.

In practice, that includes things like:

Police are also part of the plan.

Long Beach Police Department Deputy Chief Ty Burford said officers are working “around the clock” trying to take guns off the street. They’ve emphasized arresting people illegally possessing firearms.

Support facts not fear


News happens fast. In the midst of crime, disasters and other breaking news, the Long Beach Post has reporters and photographers who run to the scene to bring you reliable information. If you value this vital community resource, support it with a tax-deductible donation.


“Violence will not be tolerated in our city,” he said, but the department is also working to proactively deter crime.

Teams of bicycle officers will be regularly deployed to parks and other high-traffic areas, he said, and the department is launching new programs like a youth leadership academy at Cabrillo High School designed to foster trust between officers and the communities they patrol.

“We believe that everyone deserves to have a fun, safe and memorable summer, especially our youth,” Richardson said in a news conference Wednesday announcing the STRONG Beach plan.

Jeremiah Dobruck is managing editor of the Long Beach Post. Reach him at [email protected] or @jeremiahdobruck on Twitter.