The Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office has entered into a cooperative endeavor agreement (CEA) with the Cane River Waterway Commission to patrol every weekend, holidays, special events and some weekdays.
In the past, the Sheriff’s Office did not provide patrols on weekdays. The patrols have begun with the Sheriff’s Office charging $55 per hour to the commission, not to exceed $60,000 per year. “This amount per hour pays for the deputies’ overtime and expense of watercraft,” Sheriff Stuart Wright said. Eight officers have applied to work river patrols and have met certifications for operating a boat on Louisiana waterways.
There will be one to two deputies per shift with deputies coming from the current staff. The Sheriff’s office has a 22-foot bay boat, two jet skis and a John Boat that will patrol the approximately 40 miles of Cane River. Wright says the most frequent violations on the river are speeding, careless operation and alcohol use.
“NPSO’s goal is to enforce safety and boating regulation on Cane River. Our presence on the water will send a message that we are serious about the safety of all boaters,” Wright said.