Seeing police cruisers around town is a common sight, but seeing a police boat? Not so common. Join me as I go aboard the Greenwich Police Department boat and see how they patrol the Long Island Sound.
"Basically, we are out here as a presence. We are out to enforce boating laws and do safety inspections," said Greenwich Police Marine Sgt. Michael O'Connor.
The Marine Division has a seven man staff that works in shifts. The boat is equipped with features to help these officers keep the water as safe as possible.
"What you see here is a structure scan. There's two sensors on the bottom and they are panning down, and it shows you a detailed picture of what is on the bottom," said Greenwich Marine Officer David Stewart.
Here, we drove right over an old wreck that the structure scan easily spotted.
"This is the FLIR infrared system. You can control it going left or right, or up and down," said Stewart.
This technology enabled Officer Stewart to see these three kayakers and steer clear. The Greenwich Marine Division covers about 33 square miles of water and 25 miles of shoreline, and works with neighboring towns and cities.
"We need to rely on each other. We will go to Port Chester, we will go mid-Sound, sometimes we will go almost ll the way to Long Island with their permission, Stamford, and things like that. We are happy to assist," said Stewart.
But, the number one goal is to keep everyone safe.
"It's for the boaters benefit that we are out here. Every once in a while you see a violation and you may have to take some enforcement action, but we try to do corrective action first. We don't want t always be giving out punitive stuff. We want to encourage and educated safe boating," said O'Connor.
For boaters, the Greenwich Police Department can be contacted by radio on channel 16.