Florence police put their latest equipment to work on the water

FLORENCE, Ala. – The last two weeks have shown the importance of having a Marine Patrol Division within the Florence Police Department. Last week, it was a major fishing tournament with numerous stranded boaters. Tuesday, heavy traffic on the waterways for the Fourth of July holiday.

For years the Florence Police Department has used a boat to patrol the waters, but they have never had anything like their newest acquisition.

A multi-use vessel equipped with a ramp and plenty of room to haul most anything.

Capt. Mike Holt, Florence Police Department

“Just the type of boat it is, we can use it to patrol, they can use it as a dive platform, we can use it to carry a lot of officers different places. Today it is going to be used as a patrol boat,” explained Capt. Mike Holt with the Florence Police Department.

The police department received almost $200,000 through a Port Security Grant. With specialized equipment on-board, they can check for radiation in the Port of Florence or along the river.

Having a second boat has given the police department advantages they once hoped for.

“Just like on land, we want to be able to do everything we can do on land, do the same thing on the water. Having two good water-crafts will help us do that,” stated Holt. “You’re right, if you go in every direction there’s water here, so we ned to have a beefed up marine patrol and that’s what we are trying to do.”

On patrol this Fourth of July, officers can help the boating public stay safe and out of harms way.

Officers have to go through specialized training to be part of the Marine Patrol Division for Florence Police.

The latest boat is also equipped with high resolution sonar to air during search and rescue efforts.