I have lived at Fairfield Beach for more than 60 years; half of that time (oh my God, half) I have been confronted with and affected by Clam Jam -- yes, 30 years.

Today I am expressing my gratitude to Chief MacNamara, Deputy Chief Lyddy, Capt. Zabin, Lt. Tursi, Lt. Bloch, Sgt. Gunter and all of the officers whose presence in the beach district on April 28 provided a safe and secure environment within the neighborhood during an event that has always been a problem with the potential to be dangerous -- like an accident waiting to happen!

The new measures planned by Chief MacNamara and his staff, to prevent a miserable day for beach area residents, were outstanding. The decision to utilize two federally funded DUI checkpoints that day was and has been the source of many positive comments from my neighbors. The decision to invite neighboring Bridgeport Police who assisted with six of their horse guard officers was awesome. The decision to disallow parking on primary roads leading to the beach as a key safety factor for emergency fire and medical vehicles for the inevitable alcohol poisoning occurrences was one of the best ideas.

This year, it was estimated that there were not less than 750 individuals in and around the Lantern Point area. There were 23 incidents reported in the police release with three arrests, 11 infractions and five parking tags issued and towed.

I personally watched as many students abided by the direction of the police and security guards and did not pursue entrance to the Lantern Point property, and I attribute the event not escalating (as it always has in the past) due to all the measures that were successfully implemented. Additionally, I would compliment the Lantern Point Association for the new effective steps they implemented this year. The hiring of seven Fairfield police officers to provide positive and effective action within Lantern Point, coupled with the issuance of I.D. bracelets to acceptable participants of the event.

I continue to believe that this event belongs on the Fairfield University campus where the policing of underage drinking, the immediate response to medical emergencies from over consumption of alcohol, the policing of DUI, the supply of portable rest facilities and to ultimately maintain order can be provided. While these are specific goals, they would ultimately disallow the public display of urination, trespassing, littering, noise violations and disruption of our neighborhood.

On behalf of the Fairfield Beach Residents Association membership who have endured years of unwanted chaos in the streets and around the beach area, we sincerely thank our First Selectman Michael Tetreau, Police Chief Gary MacNamara and all the police officers who made a difference this year.

Paige Herman, president

Fairfield Beach

Residents Assn.