Third boat added to Fulton County sheriff’s boat patrol

The 2015 Boston Whaler the Fulton County Sheriff’s Department will use this summer is shown. (Photo submitted)

JOHNSTOWN — The Fulton County Sheriff’s Department is securing a boat loaned by the state to patrol local lakes this summer, bringing its patrol fleet to three boats.

Sheriff Richard Giardino requested and received authorization on Monday from county supervisors to accept a 2015 Boston Whaler patrol boat on loan from the state Office of Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation.

The sheriff’s department already has two boats and this will be the third boat for use this summer.

“It’s almost a brand new boat,” Giardino said Wednesday. “We can use it all summer.”

Giardino said the state parks office will also train seven Fulton County deputies in May on the Great Sacandaga Lake.

The sheriff’s office also uses two jet skis loaned from the state. Giardino said that “at its peak” 15 years ago, the Fulton County Sheriff’s Department had four boats in its lake patrol program. He said boats this year will mostly be used on the Great Sacandaga Lake and Caroga Lake.

The Board of Supervisors’ Public Safety Committee approved Giardino’s loan request, which goes to the full board April 10 with a proposed resolution for final approval.

Perth Supervisor Greg Fagan, committee chairman, said Tuesday the sheriff’s office and Giardino are getting ready for another lake season with patrol boats.

“I think he’s going to be running it again,” Fagan said of the patrol.

The sheriff had applied for a 2015, 21-foot Boston Whaler boat on loan from the state —along with a trailer — through the state’s local assistance program.

Similar to receipt of loaned Kawasaki jet skis in 2016, Giardino told the Public Safety Committee the sheriff’s office will be responsible for maintenance, fuel and insurance. The sheriff told supervisors that Fulton County can return the boat to the state at anytime. The cost of insurance, maintenance and fuel will come from the county’s adopted 2017 budget.

The sheriff’s office has sent two deputies to a basic law enforcement vessel operators course related to a marine patrol.

The Fulton County Sheriff’s Department has periodically utilized a boat over the years on lakes such as the Great Sacandaga Lake, Canada and Green Lakes, and East and West Caroga Lakes. Boats are used by law enforcement for safety reasons, for public information and to enforce navigation laws.

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at [email protected]

By Patricia Older

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