Police, Coast Guard Increase River Patrols

Saint Patrick's Day is still a few days away, but celebrations are starting this weekend, both on land and on water. Savannah-Chatham police's marine patrol and the US Coast Guard are working together to make sure you are safe. Starting today, they are increasing patrols on the river, because they expect many partiers in town for St. Patrick's Day and they want to make sure everyone has a safe and fun week.

Everywhere you look on River Street this week, the chances of seeing the US Coast Guard or Savannah-Chatham police are pretty good.

Coast Guard gunner's mate Dale Rennell said patrols are "just going up and down River Street, ensuring security at the ports and major areas."

With the warm weather, and St. Patrick's Day just around the corner, law enforcement is expecting more action on the Savannah River and they are making sure they're ready for anything. "We want to make sure any boats on the water are there to enjoy St. Paddy's Day and are not there for any other reason, like surveilling the area," said Pete Leopold with Savannah-Chatham police.

The Coast Guard and the Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Department's marine patrol are working hand in hand to protect the bridges, ports, and the people. "Any pleasure boats to come to the River Street area will be stopped and we'll do a safety inspection on anything moving on the water," said Leopold.

"We don't want anything to happen, so [there will be] increased presence on the water to make sure nothing out of the ordinary happens," said the Coast Guard's Rennell.

Savannah-Chatham police are urging the public, if they see anything suspicious this week, whether on land or in water, to contact local law enforcement

Reported by: Hena Daniels, hdaniels@wtoc.com