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Topics I've Started
08 May 2013 - 01:04 PMThe sheriff's marine division is getting some bad press in a couple of the topic-threads so we thought that we would respond with some of our statistics so that people don't get the wrong impression about what we do here on the lake. The marine division can assure you that we are concerned about the public's perception and read the posts on this web-site. We want to ensure that we provide a level of service that a majority of boaters have come to expect. We know we cannot please everybody but we respect people's opinions and welcome your questions and comments both good and bad. Please keep in mind that the men and women of the marine division are citizens, boaters,and outdoorsmen just like everyone else out on the lake. We wear the badge with pride and do our best to protect our citizens.
Some have expressed concern that the addition of another boat from a local city would lead to an increase in tickets being issued as part of a fee-generating scheme on their part. This simply is not true and conversations with that police chief do not support that way of thinking. That vessel is another asset on the lake to help save lives and protect our waterways. The sheriff's personnel are under no pressure to write tickets and the decision to do so is left entirely up to each officer. In 2009 the marine division issued 59 tickets but gave 347 warnings, 2010 was 138 tickets and 329 warnings, 2011 was 62 tickets and 504 warnings, and finally in 2012 was 58 tickets and 332 warnings. If this was to raise revenue, those numbers would surely be reversed. When you think about "warnings" on the water think "enforcement through education". We explain to boaters what they did wrong to bring them to our attention.
On the subject of education, our personnel have taught boater safety to approximately 5300 people in 2012. This is fairly consistent with years past in the school districts. We are heavily involved in boaters education because of our belief is that it saves lives and makes the water safer for everybody.
Safety has outweighed enforcement in statistics for 2012. While we still issued 58 tickets,we also responded to 40 Search and Rescue (SAR) calls. We had 77 boater assists(disabled boats, flare sightings, boats adrift, or boats aground), removed 17 navigation hazards (typically dead-heads), investigated 10 boating accidents and 1 drowning and responded to several ice-rescue calls.
In regards to Homeland Security grants and our work along the international border, we dedicated 170 patrol hours towards that effort in 2012. That's out of the 10,814 total hours our personnel worked last year. We would be foolish not to apply for and use federal grant money. By using these funds it reduces the need to use local funds to purchase much needed equipment and attend training by the members of the marine division. Whether people want to believe it or not there is smuggling activity on Lake St. Clair. Smugglers have used the lake since the days of prohibition and in some forms it continues today.
The average citizen isn't directly impacted when someone or something is smuggled into the United States through Lake St Clair but we have the obligation to try to prevent it from happening. Perhaps you don't see the impact of illegal aliens crossing into the US from Canada via Lake St. Clair but there are several studies that analyze the financial and criminal impact of illegal immigration.
We support Congresswoman Miller's efforts to secure the northern border and to reduce smuggling. Seven years ago we secured a boat with Homeland Security grant money but our four primary patrol boats are 14-18 years old. No one can accuse of us of wasting any government money. The safety equipment we use such as the Automatic External Deliberators, fire pumps, first-responder medical bags, etc. are purchased with funds raised by our reserve officers. The Macomb County Marine Division is a frugal but effective marine patrol.
In one of the posts we received some unfair criticism for spending too much time at MacRay Harbor. This is easy to explain as it is one of the busiest ports on our part of the lake. It only makes sense to have a stronger presence there. We want to preserve the family-friendly environment of "poor-man's" beach. You will also see us a lot in the Black Creek and in the marinas along the nautical mile.
Before we end, we would like to address Mr. ChiliGringo. We can assure you that we are always waving or stopping to talk to the kids on the lake. We have handed out countless stickers,plastic badges, and coloring books to children throughout the years. In a couple of weeks we will be taking approximately 200 kids out on boat rides as a reward for getting 100% on their boater safety tests. We do static displays with our jet-skis for children functions throughout the county all summer long. We're still doing the same things we did when you were a kid plus a little bit more. We're sorry to hear that you've lost faith in us.
07 May 2013 - 08:32 AMThis 2004 Sunsation and trailer were stolen from a residence in Macomb Township, MI sometime between April 21 and April 26. It is solid white in color and has a black and purple checkered flag on the transom. The Bravo 1 outdrives have 12" extension boxes and hydraulic steering. The boat is missing the cabin door, cushions and counter top which the owner had removed for maintenance. The registration on the boat when it was stolen is MC 2552 TM.
If you see this boat, or have any information, contact Detective Hanna at (586)469-6491 or the Marine Division at (586)469-5803.
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08 March 2013 - 08:35 AMThe Michigan House of Representatives has introduced a bill that would decriminalize drunk boating.
House Bill 4095 would make it a civil infraction and not a misdemeanor to operate a vessel while under the influence of intoxicating liquor , a controlled substance, or both. It would do the same for reckless operation of a vessel.
Currently, upon conviction for either offense, a person could face a maximum of 90 days in jail or a fine of not more than $100.00, or both. The new legislation would eliminate any risk of jail and would increase the maximum fine to $150.00. The current law and the new bill also allows the court to revoke the right to operate a vessel for up to 2 years and to order the person to complete a boating safety course.
Good idea or bad?
Link to HB 4095: http://www.legislatu...13-hIB-4095.pdf