From 65 photographers, in 2012, the 24 Hour Project has grown to over 2,700 in 718 cities, around the world, in 2016. On March 19th (local time), photographers in 107 countries, took photos, and posted them online, at the rate of one image per hour per shooter.
The purpose of the project was to bring awareness to human trafficking, while supporting She Has Hope, and other NGOs.
The process of posting one photo per hour was a bit of a challenge that I failed to meet. While I was able to post to my Facebook Page, from the field, I was unable to connect to my Instagram account, except from my home wifi connection. Secondly, I put myself into a rather fast moving environment, at least at the beginning, that prevented me for having the time to shoot, select, edit, and post, on a fixed schedule. Consequently, while I did post 24 images, I did it in bulk, posting 5-6 at a time, throughout the allotted period.
So, the situation: I was granted permission, by the Huntington Beach, California, USA, Police Department to accompany several of their officers on foot patrol, in the downtown HB area, beginning at midnight, on Friday night. HB has a vigorous nightlife scene. It is a beach city, and frequent party destination for residents of nearby cities, and vacationing university students, and, since that creates an elevated alcohol/testosterone density, patrolling police officers are often pushed to the limits of their manpower and patience.
Thank you to Lt. Kelly Rodriquez for arranging for me to walk and ride along, and to Sergeant Warken and the men and women of the HBPD, who welcomed me, on Friday night.
My opinions, based strictly on my observations: #1. More officers would help. I understand that there are operational and financial consideration. Huntington Beach has a permanent population of about 200,000 people spread over 32 sq. miles (83 sq. km), all of whom occasionally require police services. The small downtown area (Main Street and Pacific Coast Highway) sees about 43,000 vehicles per day, on average. The city welcomes about 16 million visitors, each year. All of this places a tremendous demand on law enforcement’s resources.
Observation #2. The officers assigned to downtown have to have an amazing amount of patience. Logic, reasoning, and communications lucidity do not seem to improve with the amount of alcohol consumed. Normally law abiding citizens don’t always understand that you can’t dump trash at the public fountain, pee on the Baskin-Robbins storefront, or shine a laser pen on an officer’s chest. While the same space can not be occupied by two 20-something men, at the same time, absent the booze, there is generally a polite “excuse me”. Add several hours of drinking and that accidental bump becomes a challenge to someone’s manhood. Only fast acting, decisive, yet patient action by a couple of cops, prevents punches and escalating crowd involvement.
My advice to the city council — authorize more officers and pay them fairly (as in negotiate, in good faith, for a new contract). Huntington Beach Police Officers have been without a contract since October 1, 2015 — according to the HP police Officer’s Association Facebook page.
Please note that all images were taken in public, and that no one is presumed guilty of any crime. The photos depict police officers in the performance of their duties.
As the bar scene was winding down, Sgt. Warken arranged for me to ride along with patrol officers on the north side of Huntington Beach.
As night turned into day, I upload some images to FB and Instagram, then grabbed a two hour nap, before heading back downtown.
One off the things that I love about living in Huntington Beach is that, in addition to the bar scene, it is a very family friendly city, know for it’s year-round surf, it’s ‘dog beach’, and various activities on Main Street and the pier. Every Tuesday evening, several blocks of Main Street are closed of Surf City Nights, a street fair and farmer’s market. Friday’s also see a farmer’s market and arts & crafts fair, in the Pier Plaza. On this Saturday morning, the Pier Plaza and the first three blocks of Main Street hosted an annual Classic Car Show.
The firs thing I saw was a VW Bus. The second thing I saw was a pretty girl — it was going to be a good day.
Okay, I’ll admit something: I have a difficult time accepting something as ‘classic’ if I had one when I was a kid. The ’70 VW was even the same color as mine (although I was about 24 when I drove it out of the showroom). The ’61 Chevy — well, I had a white ’61 Chevy convertible in 1964 — my second year in college. I’m wondering if that makes me a ‘classic’????
One of the more interesting people whom I talked to, at the Classic Car Show, was travelling artist, Len Nordmann. From Main Street, Huntington Beach to the Main Street of America, Len travels the Mother Road (the US Highway known as Route 66), painting Americana and it’s cars.
For those interested, all images were made with either an iPhone 6 Plus, edited, in phone, with Snapseed, or an Olympus OMD-EM5 and Lumix 14mm, f2.5, wide-open at ISO 3200, 6400, or 12800. Processing in Lightroom CC.