Gwinnett PD, DNR Teaming up for Lake Lanier Patrols
The Gwinnett County Police Department and rangers from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources' Wildlife Resources Division are teaming up to increase law enforcement presence on Lake Lanier.
"With limited budgets and personnel numbers, our two agencies have created an innovative way to increase the number of patrol boats and law enforcement officers on Lake Lanier," explained Col. Eddie Henderson, Georgia DNR, in a DNR press release. "Police officers will be paired with rangers in DNR patrol boats. This will allow us to put more boats on the water year-round for high-traffic weekends, holidays and special events."
With the additional manpower, the DNR will be able to staff up to five patrol boats with a total of 10 law enforcement professionals -- up from the current two to three boats with four to six rangers.
"Lake Lanier draws 7.5 million visitors annually, including many from Gwinnett County," said Chief Charles Walter, Gwinnett County Police Department, in a released statement. "The Boating Safety Initiative will allow us to efficiently and effectively team up with the DNR to enforce safety and protect our citizens."
The Gwinnett officers who participate in the program will undergo intensive training in boating safety, vessel laws, boat inspections, water safety, BUI enforcement, boat registration, water rescue and boat safety checks. The officers will then patrol in DNR patrol boats.
"This partnership is one piece of the puzzle," Henderson said. "Boating safety requires a multi-faceted approach. From the law enforcement side, we are pleased to have such strong partners with us."
Gwinnett's District 4 Commissioner John Heard commended GCPD and the DNR for working together to patrol Lake Lanier.
"The increased presence of officers will remind residents to practice boating safety while enjoying the lake," he said.