Beach association welcomes new police district commander
Vicki Jackson | Gazette correspondent
Published: February 20, 2014
CLEARWATER BEACH — Police Lt. Richard Harris, who has been with the city’s department for 33 years, will head up the beach district effective Saturday.
Harris was introduced during the Clearwater Beach Association’s monthly meeting on Feb. 4. His primary goals for the district, he told the group, will be to ensure safety in the neighborhoods and on the streets and to prevent property theft and home break-ins.
He also invited group members to call him by his nickname, “Bama,” which is short for the state where he was born and lived before moving to Clearwater.
Harris replaces Lt. David Dalton, who is returning to support services at police headquarters.
In their monthly report to the association membership, officials shared the following information:
• A fraudulent scheme is targeting local rental properties advertised on the Internet. Scammers post bogus ads on Craigslist and then tell the lessee that payment is due in advance. Victims should notify the police department at (727) 562-4242.
• Police are asking residents to report any sightings of the paraglider who has been buzzing dangerously close to buildings and near the beach recently.
• Police intend to crack down on bicyclist and pedestrian traffic violations including jaywalking. The department is seeking a grant from the state Department of Transportation to fund the initiative.
• The second and fourth weeks of March are expected to be the busiest of the spring break season.
In other news, a sign will be erected at the Clearwater Beach Library and Recreation Complex to note that the beach association, through the city’s Adopt-a-Park program, has adopted the facility’s surrounding green space.
The association also recently sponsored and participated in the annual Chapel-by-the Sea Walk/Walk, held in late January to benefit the Religious Community Services food bank.
In cooperation with the city, the association will sponsor the annual Easter Egg Hunt on April 18 in Mandalay Park at 532 Mandalay Ave.
On April 26, the association will host its annual picnic in Triangle Park as part of the Clearwater Neighborhoods Day celebration. Visits by city leaders, goody bags, prize, and food are expected to draw a crowd.
The next association meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. March 4 at the library and recreation complex, 69 Bay Esplanade. The meeting is open to the public. For more information or to update memberships, send an e-mail to Clearwaterbeachassociation@gmail.com.