Hancock County Sheriff's Dept. brings back water patrol - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Hancock County Sheriff's Dept. brings back water patrol

The Hancock County Sheriff's Department made routine safety checks over the weekend. (Source: WLOX News) The Hancock County Sheriff's Department made routine safety checks over the weekend. (Source: WLOX News)
the sheriff's department will be using two boats to patrol the water. (Source: WLOX News) the sheriff's department will be using two boats to patrol the water. (Source: WLOX News)

Officers with the Hancock County Sheriff's Department have spent their Memorial Day weekend on the water, and it's actually a part of the job they have missed doing.

“We have not been able to do it in the past couple of years," said Hancock County Chief Investigator Glenn Grannan. "We haven't had the opportunity. With budget cuts, this is the first thing we were forced to cut."

According to Grannan, a group of concerned citizens is funding the operation, so that the waters of Hancock County will be just as safe as they are anywhere else along the coast.

“It's huge because I mean it just takes one fatality, one small child, because someone's acting reckless, and it just leaves such a somber note to the rest of the summer,” said Grannan.

Grannan says over the past couple of days, they have made routine stops for safety checks where they look to make sure there is an appropriate amount of life jackets and flares on board.

“I think it's good at the beginning of the season to get everybody realizing what they need to have, but getting a lot of people out here and enforcing the rules makes sense,” said Whit Hughley.

So far, the sheriff's department has only issued one safety violation, but Grannan says he has seen problems with people not having proper boating documentation.

“People that were born after 1980, it's required that they have a boater's safety course and a card to indicate that they have. We've found a number of those that do not have them."

The Hancock County sheriff's department will continue to patrol the waters through Memorial Day, and hopefully will have enough funding to continue every weekend throughout the summer.

Copyright 2015 WLOX. All rights reserved.

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