Livingston Parish Sheriff's Office part of increased law enforcement presence on waterways

LIVINGSTON PARISH, LA (WAFB) - Fourth of July means fun in the sun for most of us but for members of the Livingston Parish Sheriff's Office Marine Division, it means a busy day on the waterways as they team up with other law enforcement agencies to keep folks safe.

Thousands of boaters and swimmers were on the water Thursday as part of the holiday which translated into more men and women in blue making sure they did it the right way.

"We are going to be at least 50 percent more than we usually are which encompasses about two to three more boats that we have on the water," said Sergeant Gene Higginbotham.

The officers representing Livingston Parish just a part of the entire effort consisting of agents from the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and officers from surrounding parishes.

"We work really well together on a high volume day like today we work with all the agencies like Tangipahoa, Livingston, Ascension and St. John all those agencies help us a huge amount on the marine side of it," said Senior Agent Clarence Marques.

Proper life vests and monitoring alcohol consumption are the two biggest priorities for these officers but making sure boaters can enjoy their time on the water is the main objective.

"Lot of people think that we're out here trying to stifle the fun but that's not our message at all. We do want people to have fun in Livingston Parish but at the same time we want them to have a safe time as well," said Higginbotham.

The Fourth is expected to result in the most traffic on the waterways but not much of a drop off is anticipated the rest of the weekend and so the LPSO Marine Division will maintain its expanded presence.

Copyright 2013 WAFB. All rights reserved.