Spindrift August 10,2023


Shirley Lashmett opened the meeting and read the “knot prayer”. Seymour Beek led the pledge.


Ed Romeo introduced Lauretta Stansfield and Barbara Kirkam, his friends from OASIS and potential new members. OASIS’ car show is coming up and Ed urged Mike Gertner to participate. Dr. Bob Wood welcomed back his son Ryan Wood who was in town to watch the Openheimer movie with Dr. Bob. George Lesley distributed a sign-up sheet for the club summer party at Newport Shores on August 18th; Shirley, one for the Installation Dinner at Gulliver’s on August 29th.


George introduced Joe Cartright, the Chief of the Newport Beach Police Department (NBPD). As Chairman of the Newport Beach 1st Battalion/1st Marines Foundation, Joe is a huge Field of Honor (FOH) fan. The Foundation uses its FOH donation to support families with events after Marines deploy, when a Marine passes away, and in other emergencies.

Following high school, Joe joined the Marines where he served four years in the Gulf and Somalia. Thereafter, he attended Long Beach State and graduated with a degree in Criminal Justice. He joined LAPD, working in South Central for three years. The commute and other issues prompted him to join NBPD, where he has held many roles over 20+ years and, in March, was named Chief.

Joe is keenly aware of how fortunate he is to be with NBPD. The department receives tremendous support, starting at the top from former Mayor and now California Assembly member Diane Dixon, to the Mayor and Council members, to the City Manager and staff, and of course, from its police and other staff. As a result of the BLM movement, while other police departments are short thousands of officers, NBPD is only down 7 or 8. It could immediately fill these openings, but is very selective, only accepting persons of exceptional character (e.g., strong families, college education, athleticism, etc.)

Joe shared some statistics. NBPD averages 3 minutes and 21 seconds to respond to priority one calls (e.g., crimes in progress and urgent matters). This is faster than other cities’ response times to priority three calls. NBPD handles an average of 277 events per day (e.g., crimes, accidents, etc.), and answers 99.7% of 911 calls in 15 seconds. It has the best case clearance rate (i.e., following a lead through until closing the case) in So Cal.

Joe stated that most residential burglaries occur Friday evenings, with Dove Shores, Big Canyon, and Harbor View as popular targets. Recently, because of a legal loophole, Chilean gangs are pillaging Newport. A VISA waiver program permits citizens of ,several countries, including Chile, to be in the U.S. 90 days, excluding those convicted of violent crimes. The Chilean government, however, has refused to provide criminal histories. Without them, OC judges must consider Chileans first time offenders, preventing judges from deeming them a public risk and resulting in their release. Joe recently met with Kevin McCarthy and other federal officials seeking their help in requiring Chile to identify violent offenders.

Joe is hopeful that going forward, violent Chileans will be excluded from the waiver program. Joe offered home burglary tips. (1) Install alarms, cameras, and motion detectors on all levels. If not seen on upper levels, burglars will enter there. (2) Be creative with landscaping, like planting thorny bushes outside windows. (3) Place valuables in unexpected places (e.g., laundry room). (4) Request a free home inspection from NBPD’s crime prevention experts (949-644-3699). (5) Notify NBPD about anything suspicious.

Joe also addressed NBPD’s home burglary crime fighting measures. It conducts Directed Enforcement Operations with plain clothed officers in unmarked cars scouting robbers in high crime areas. It collaborates closely with Orange County’s District Attorney and other departments to track and catch perpetrators.

Since Joe has been Chief, Newport has had two shootings. In both cases, NBPD tirelessly pursued leads until the shooters were arrested within 24 hours. Crimes related to explicit photos is on the rise. Many young people are duped by internet “friends” into sending photos and are thereafter extorted for money. If victimized, do not send money, notify the internet platform and police, and “block” and cease contact with the “friend.” Change digital passwords and privacy settings to have two factor identification. Home and email scams are also a problem. If you receive an email or call from an unknown person seeking money, check with NBPD before sending it.

Joe addressed traffic and vehicle safety. NBPD has received grants enabling it to crack down on loud vehicles and fund DUI checkpoints. Joe sees e-bikes as motor vehicles, but noted the law is behind the technology. NBPD is educating students about the rules of the road and e-bike safety. NBPD has programs to help the elderly properly adjust the seats in their cars and parents to ensure child car seats are installed and used correctly.

NBPD will receive grants up to $250,000 the next few years to fight drug overdoses. Joe’s priority is battling fentanyl. Initially, his goal was to take it off the streets. But, when he learned a single dealer had 50,000 fentanyl pills, he pivoted to overdose prevention. NBPD is providing City employees with Narcan, a substance that reverses the opioid effect when placed into a nostril, and is training them on when and how to use it. NBPD also hopes to provide Narcan to more people.

Newport Beach has made noteworthy progress in providing the homeless shelter and other services. New measures include partnering with Costa Mesa and the OC Sheriff for additional beds in a hotel. City Council recently approved an ordinance prohibiting interference with public access, unpermitted structures on public property, and certain conduct on public property.

This year’s July 4th was the calmest of Joe’s career. Due to triple fines and other measures, NBPD had 30 arrests for the day, compared to 100 by dinner time in 2022.

Mitch Mitchell drew the raffle winners. Ed and Marj Davis each won $30. Shirley closed with a thought of the day from Mother Teresa. “Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.”

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Schylor Lance

Schylor Lance