Decatur County deputies get boat for water patrol



DECATUR COUNTY, Tenn. — The Decatur County Sheriff’s Department is taking to the water thanks to their new patrol boat for the Tennessee River.

Decatur Co Water Patrol2“The need for us to have a boat is pretty significant,” Sheriff Keith Byrd told WBBJ.

The department partnered with the Perry County Sheriff’s Department to make the donated patrol boat a possibility and help keep homes safer in the area.

“These people come down on the weekends and on the holiday weekend in particular, and during the week they’re gone, and quite often they’ll come back to their places the following weekend and find that something’s been taken, and that happens more often than it should,” Sheriff Byrd said.

Now the county will implement patrols on their waterways, which take up nearly 3 percent of their jurisdiction.Decatur Co Water Patrol

“There’s 53 miles of river and I don’t know how many cabins and houses up and down the river,” Chief Deputy Larry Hill said. “We’re hoping to deter some of the thefts and things that may go on on the river.”

While the TWRA will still be the ones to make arrests on the water, the sheriff wants their new tool to be a message.

“I want the thieves and the criminals to see, ‘Hey, they have a boat. They’ve never had a boat before,'” Sheriff Byrd said. “I want the good people and the people that utilize the water and have homes and travel trailers or what else along the water to see that we have a boat too.”

Both counties will have use of the boat.

They also plan to have deputies certified by the TWRA so they can make arrests for crimes committed on the water.

The total cost to make the patrol boat seaworthy was around $500, according to Sheriff Byrd, and was split between the two counties.

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