The Marine Enforcement Unit is under the direct supervision of the Undersheriff. The unit is staffed by 1 full-time and 9 seasonal deputies, all of whom are NYS Certified Law Enforcement Officers. They maintain 2 vessels that patrol approximately 24 miles of Lake Ontario shoreline and the adjacent coastal waters. A 3rd vessel patrols Lake Alice, a large body of water on Oak Orchard River. A 4th vessel was recently acquired and wholly funded by the United States Department of Homeland Security. This particular vessel is a Jet Boat, which is a boat propelled by a jet of water from the back of the craft. It is particularly useful in shallow bodies of water. If necessary, any of the three smaller boats can be trailered to other bodies of water throughout the county, including the Erie Canal and Glenwood Lake.
The Sheriff's Marine Unit is funded in part by reimbursement of NYS boater registration fees, to help offset the costs to the Sheriff's Office. These funds are provided by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation. The Marine Unit's primary responsibilities include boater safety education, investigation of crimes & incidents that occur on our waterways, search and rescue operations, and enforcement of the NYS Navigation Law.
Orleans County realizes a significant increase in the summer tourist population annually and many of our visitors enjoy using our beautiful lakes and waterways. Unfortunately, events can occur that sometimes have serious or even tragic consequences. Whether it's a vessel that has become disabled or overturned, has taken on water, caught fire, or there's been an accident or a drowning, the Sheriff's Marine Unit responds.