Senators Make Waves over Bainbridge Police Boat

I’m sure I wasn’t the only one surprised to see that two U.S. senators critical of the federal stimulus singled out Bainbridge’s police boat as a waste of money.

Once I got past the shock of the national attention, I delved into the facts of the case. It’s hard to knock our elected representatives for keeping an eye on  $787 billion in government spending. And the analysis of the “checkup” on the police boat has gotten our web site visitors pretty fired up — last I checked, there were close to 100 comments on the story.

I’ve taken a ride on the Bainbridge boat (the model they had before the newest upgrade). Here’s my story about what we did. Basically, while staying within the island’s coastline just in case, much of the work of the officers involved checking ferry docks and fuel depots to ensure they were free of explosives and suspicious devices.

If you listen to the police scanner, you can tell when law enforcement (or our fire departments) are out on the water. Most agencies have a boat, though it might not be moored but instead on a trailer out of the water. Bainbridge’s “Marine 8” can be heard around the sound, responding to everything from boat fires to bridge jumpers.

What I find most interesting about the “checkup” is this: the stimulus money given to Bainbridge police to enhance its boat was done to enhance Bainbridge police’s abilities to help with homeland security — a federal mission that the Bainbridge city council was once skeptical about helping fund.

If nothing else, hopefully the senators realize that the federal dollars spent on Bainbridge went toward a federal, and not a local, mission.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Before you post, please complete the prompt below.

Please enter the word MILK here: