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Around the South Bay

The Enforcer brings crime fighting in Redondo out of the dark ages.

February 23, 1995

NIGHT LIGHT: Burglars and other nighttime ne'er-do-wells in Redondo Beach now have Gulf War technology to reckon with.

A pair of "night goggles"--derived from technology used by pilots during the Gulf War--was donated to the Redondo Beach Police Department last week by ITT Gilfillan in Van Nuys. The device, called the ITT Night Enforcer 250, allows officers to make out images at night.

"The technology is just unbelievable," said Redondo Beach Police Chief Mel Nichols. "You can virtually see in the dark."

The device amplifies ambient light, such as a street lamp or stars, to give dark areas a greenish glow. This version weighs only about two pounds and is powered by a single 6-volt lithium battery.

"Most of the other stuff we have seen is very bulky and very user unfriendly," Nichols said.

The department will use the device to track cases such as serial burglars, he said. An example: a 20-year-old man arrested last year after he allegedly broke into at least a dozen homes and tickled the feet of sleeping residents.

With the goggles, Nichols said, "we would have been able to track him."

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IN THE LINE OF FIRE: Los Angeles magazine recently compared Manhattan Beach to the fictitious Mayberry and praised the city for its serene neighborhoods. But, let's face it, Manhattan Beach is no Mayberry.

After all, nobody ever slugged Barney Fife for issuing a parking citation. But in Manhattan Beach recently, Chris Meadors apparently wasn't so lucky.

The community services officer was allegedly hit in the chest Feb. 13 after he issued a $20 parking ticket to a Lawndale man, police said.

David Marsh, 26, had parked his car on the street during street-sweeping hours. As Meadors was writing the citation, Marsh told Meadors that his battery was dead, and Meadors told the man he could contest the ticket in court with proof of the problem, said Mary Laquet of the Manhattan Beach Police Department.

But "I guess he didn't want to hear it," Laquet said.

When Meadors finished writing the citation, Marsh allegedly punched him in the chest. Meadors received only minor injuries and, moments later, police arrested Marsh. Charges have not yet been filed in the case.

At the time, Meadors probably wished he was in Mayberry. When Barney Fife issued a parking ticket to a high-ranking politician on "The Andy Griffith Show," Fife was praised for carrying out his duties.

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