Beach party with 2,500 people prompts crackdown in Long Island town

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LONG BEACH, Long Island (WABC) -- There is a beach party crackdown underway on Long Island after police busted a gathering in Long Beach last weekend with more than 2,500 partying on the sand.

"We are saying that if you think you are going to come down to the city of Long Beach and have a sunset party this week, you have another thing coming," Long Beach Police Commissioner Ronald Walsh said.

The strong words come after a very long weekend and ahead of what's typically one of the busiest of the summer.

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Long Branch announced it will be postponing its July 4 fireworks due to a large beach party last weekend that was packed with out-of-towners.

It was late Saturday night when thousands of people, mostly young adults, gathered for the party that was promoted on social media and included illegal fireworks.

And then, after it peacefully dispersed, gunfire erupted in the city streets.

One person was injured and another immediately arrested, and city authorities are now facing backlash from the community to be more proactive.

"The thing that people don't realize is that our beach is in the middle of a residential neighborhood," resident Jennifer Slattery said. "This is not Jones Beach, where you're separated from everybody. So the fights that did break out, the noise, the fireworks, that does affect people."

Ocean Beach Park is a public beach, so there's a delicate balance. City authorities are emphasizing that while the public is welcome, permits are needed for parties. Also, the boardwalk closes at midnight.

As a result, Walsh is promising an increased police presence.

"They can also expect that their cars will be towed when they are parked illegally," he said. "They can expect to receive multiple vehicles and traffic summonses when they drive the way they were driving here last week."

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Residents were optimistic.

"I'm just glad we are trying to do our best," Long Beach resident Steve Candon sid. "Because there's no easy answer."

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