New Island County patrol boat funding in place

Island County has secured a $225,000 grant to purchase a new all-weather patrol vessel.

The funding was issued through the Homeland Security Grant Program under Operation Stonegarden. The intent of Operation Stonegarden is to enhance law enforcement preparedness along the land and sea borders of the United States.

Its purpose is to “increase border security in direct coordination with state and local law enforcement,” according to county project description documents.

The vessel will be used to increase joint law enforcement marine patrols in Puget Sound to gain a better grasp on cross border activity, and to prevent illegal crossings. Local agencies involved are the Coupeville Marshal’s Office, Island County Sheriff’s Office, Langley Police Department and Oak Harbor Police Department.

The boat is a 26-foot rigid hull inflatable with the capability to moor up against other vessels. Island County Sheriff Mark Brown said the boat is far more durable than the county’s current boat which is around 20 years old.

Brown said the new boat with its upgraded capabilities would have been very helpful in providing rescue and investigative services after the Ledgewood landslide. Moving forward, Brown said the boat will be a great resource to assist the county in providing boater safety and natural disaster services.

Brown said the county’s old boat will likely find a home with a local fire district.

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