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Division of Law Enforcement
May 5, 2017 through May 11, 2017
This report represents some events the FWC handled over the past week; however, it does not include all actions taken by the Division of Law Enforcement.
Patrol, Protect, Preserve
Officers Allgood and Long found two people illegally camping in Perdido River Wildlife Management Area (WMA). Camping is only allowed in designated camping areas and entry into the area is prohibited one and a half hours after sunset. While speaking to the individuals regarding the violations, they were found to be in possession of marijuana. While addressing the violations, another vehicle drove into the parking area. Officer Long approached that vehicle, spoke to the driver and noticed there was a large pipe used for smoking marijuana on the passenger’s side floorboard. The driver and passenger of this vehicle were also found to be in possession of marijuana. Notice to appear citations were issued for possession of less than 20 grams of cannabis and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Officers responded to two boating accidents involving two rented deck boats that were attempting to return to shore when they were swamped near the mouth of Boggy Bayou in Choctawhatchee Bay. Nine people were rescued from each of the sinking vessels. A combination of Good Samaritan boaters, U.S. Coast Guard (USCG)-Destin and Eglin livery responders returned the passengers safely to the boat ramp.
Officer Gore was on patrol at Culpepper Landing on Holmes Creek when he encountered two subjects on a vessel. Upon conducting a boating safety inspection, he noticed the operator seemed unsteady on his feet, fumbled with removing equipment, and had a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from his breath. Field sobriety tasks were conducted and the subject was determined to be under the influence and was arrested. He refused to provide a breath sample and was transported to the Washington County Jail and booked for BUI
DIRECTED CONSERVATION PATROLS
Officers concentrated on off-shore fisheries patrols. They issued notice to appear citations for possession of undersized and over the bag limit of red snapper and possession of an undersized amberjack. Two other individuals were cited for possession of red snapper in federal waters. Red snapper season is currently closed in federal waters.
COMMUNITY ORIENTED POLICING
Officer Maltais assisted USCG-Destin with the annual safety meeting held by the U.S. Navy’s Strike Fighter Squadron 101 on Eglin Air Force Base. There were 220 sailors from the F-35 “Grim Reapers” squadron who attended the briefing. The USCG officers spoke about boating safety requirements on the water. Officer Maltais addressed BUI enforcement, boating accident reporting, local waterway navigation and state parks in preparation for the busy boating season and summer holidays.
SANTA ROSA COUNTY
Officer Lewis teamed up with FWC biologists to speak to approximately 120 students from Woodlawn Middle School at Blackwater River State Park. Officer Lewis spoke to the students about FWC’s mission, resource protection, boating safety and environmental laws.
Officer Arnette spoke to approximately 150 first-grade students from Baker Elementary School at the FWC Blackwater Fisheries Center in Holt. He talked about the role of an FWC officer and answered numerous questions from the young visitors.