Newaygo County Sheriff Pat Hedlund announced that deputies, state troopers, conservation officers and Newaygo City police officers are again patrolling the Muskegon River this summer to curb rowdy behavior. Police Officers are on the water in boats and along the river corridors in marked cruisers. “This is a proactive enforcement approach to keep the river safe and keep rowdy behavior under control,” Sheriff Hedlund said.
Past problems on the river have included underage drinking, intoxication, lewd behavior, trespassing, littering, disorderly conduct, drug use and damage to private property. Hedlund said the program is now in the third year of operation and illegal issues have been dramatically reduced when compared to past years.
The sheriff’s department also created a program called River Watch, a partnership with the Department of Natural Resources, the Michigan State Police, and the Newaygo Police Department. River Watch relies on homeowners and volunteers along the river who report violations of the law.
Bridgeton Township Supervisor Michael Reagan wanted river users to “please consider our citizens, property owners and families when floating the river.” Reagan added that he encourages people to come and use the river, but cautioned that they should be respectful of other people and private property to avoid problems with law enforcement.
Hedlund said his deputies and other police officers are actively looking for people who act outside of the law. “We want people to have fun and enjoy Newaygo County. We only ask that they do it responsibly and respectfully.”