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Newport Beach


Take Five: Meet Justin Morouse, NBPD’s Area 3 Commander

By AMY SENK

The Newport Beach Police Department (NBPD) divides the city into four “areas,” each with a lieutenant area commander. Area 3 includes Eastbluff, Bonita Canyon, Big Canyon, Newport Center, Harbor Cove, Bayside Village, Island Lagoon, Park Newport, Promontory Point and Balboa Island and covers everything from Fashion Island and the Civic Center to Corona del Mar High School, along with several golf and tennis clubs and the Newport Beach Police Department. The Area 3 commander, Lt. Justin Morouse, began his career with the City of Brea and joined the NBPD in July 2012. He was promoted to the rank of sergeant in 2016 and attained his current rank of lieutenant in July 2021, when he became the Area 3 commander. I caught up with him to learn more.

Take Five Justin Morouse

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of NBPD

NBPD Lieutenant Justin Morouse

Q: What made you want to become a police officer and when did you know you were destined for a law enforcement career?

A: I first decided on a career in law enforcement while enrolled in a Criminal Justice course in college. The professor, a retired police chief, offered his students extra credit if they were to go on a ride-along and write a paper about the experience. I was able to go on a ride-along with the Fullerton Police Department, which was my first real exposure to police work. I had a great time on the ride-along which prompted me to volunteer as a Police Explorer with the Laguna Beach Police Department. As a Police Explorer I was able to go on additional ride-alongs which afforded me a greater appreciation and understanding of the profession. 

Q: Area 3 has Fashion Island. How does that influence police efforts there and are crimes like shoplifting more common there?

A: While Fashion Island is a major retail hub located within the six-plus square miles that comprise Area 3, I don’t believe it has much of an impact on the way our officers police Area 3 as a whole. Our officers are trained to monitor crime trends within their assigned areas and to develop their patrol strategies in a manner that will best address those issues which may be impacting the residents and retailers within their assigned areas. I would say that shoplifting is more common in Area 3 compared to other areas within the city, particularly in recent months.

Q: Does CdMHS present any unique police issues? When my kids were there, parking in neighborhoods was a huge concern.

A: Like most schools, CdMHS does impact traffic and parking in the surrounding areas. In terms of police-specific issues, we are fortunate to have a great group of School Resource Officers who handle most of the issues that arise in and around the CdMHS. The SROs’ relationships with the Newport-Mesa Unified School District and their specialized training in handling school-related issues allows our Area 3 officers to focus their efforts on other issues that may be affecting Area 3.

Q: What would be the single biggest thing that residents could do to help police in your area?

A: I think the best thing residents can do to help our officers is to remain vigilant, lock doors and windows (vehicle, residential and retail), and report suspicious individuals and vehicles. No one knows their own neighborhood or business center better than the individuals who live or work in those areas on a daily basis.

Q: Anything else you’d like to add?

A: As the Area 3 Commander, I am very grateful for the hard work of the officers assigned to Area 3 as well as the support we receive from our local residents and business owners. Our community support and engagement are an essential component to our success as a police department. Thank you! 

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Amy Senk is a long-time resident of Corona del Mar and a regular contributor to Stu News Newport.

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