Florence Police Department gets new patrol boat - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Florence Police Department gets new patrol boat

(Source: WAFF) (Source: WAFF)
(Source: WAFF) (Source: WAFF)
FLORENCE, AL (WAFF) -

Florence police have a new ride just in time for the summer traffic. It's a boat that can hold several officers and even another vehicle.

It is a brand new patrol boat. The old one didn't suit the needs of the department. Officers said the new vehicle will help them serve the community better.

"We can put an entire swat team or a bomb unit or entire dive unit and you can put small ATV or vehicles of that nature on there," said Capt. Mike Holt.

The new patrol boat allows Florence police to get their job done easier.

"With a boat like this, we will be able to do the same policing that we can do on land as we can do in the water as well," Holt said.

Eighteen officers are trained for it so fa,r and they'll be out at least once a week making sure everyone stays safe.

"It’s kind of always busy here but from here to the rest of summer there is going to be bass tournaments here with hundreds of boats every weekend. This is a busy body of water," Holt said.

Florence police say it will be critical when there is a water rescue. They have a state-of-the-art sonar the can take images in HD 360 degrees around the boat.

"It will clean up when we get stopped. Right now we are moving at 2.5 mph so it makes it a little bit distorted from the motion," officer Guy Lambert explained as he pointed to the sonar.

The boat itself and all of the equipment on board is a first of its kind in the Shoals. The officers said if another agency needs assistance they’ll be able to help as well.

"If we are needed in Waterloo, they'll go to Waterloo, and if needed on Wilson Lake anytime, we can help,” Holt said. “We are just happy to be able to be in a position to assess in both directions better than we were before.”

A port security grant helped pay for the more than $100,000 boat.

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