Police presence increased at Oceanfront for holiday weekend

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by Cleve Bryan, 13News

WVEC.com

Posted on May 24, 2013 at 4:53 PM

Updated Friday, May 24 at 6:01 PM

VIRGINIA BEACH - Businesses are hoping that better weather and forgiving attitudes will bring tourists to the Oceanfront this Memorial Day weekend.

The last time large crowds gathered near the beach was in April, during College Week, when more than 100 people were arrested following three shootings, a stabbing and several robberies.

"What we heard from people visiting from out of town, is that they realize it was an isolated incident, so they weren’t too turned off, but you never know," says Tyler Hawa, who manages some of her family's six shops at the Oceanfront.

Virginia Beach police told 13News that extra officers will be on hand at the Oceanfront this weekend, but they say it is not because of the incidents last month.

Police spokeswoman Tonya Borman says it is normal to have more officers on hand for holidays and the stepped-up presence will also be seen in Pungo for the Strawberry Festival.

Visitors who were shopping along Atlanatic Avenue were dodging under store awnings to avoid rain Friday and said weather will be the most important factor in determining their weekend plans.

"We're just shopping around and hopefully we can spend some time on the beach maybe if it clears up," says Phil Ornot from Pennsylvania.
 

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