The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office soon will have a new patrol boat to help marine law enforcement patrolling Lake Billy Chinook and other local waterways.
The new patrol boat is a 21 foot River Wild Aluminum boat, manufactured by Liquid Technologies in Grants Pass, and comes equipped with a Yamaha (EPA and carb-compliant 4-stroke) 150 horsepower outboard motor, and full electronics for emergency response.
The average age of the current Marine Board boat fleet statewide is 15 years. The Marine Board developed a procurement and retention schedule similar those used for law enforcement vehicles and is retiring older boats with newer models that require less fuel and maintenance.
The new patrol boat replaces a 1987 Almar boat that served the needs of the county for a long time.
The Marine Board's boat replacement program is also intended to match equipment to the specific needs based on the water bodies being patrolled and the specific types of responses needed.
Jefferson County sold the Almar for $7,500 and, combined with $ 44,449 in Marine Board state boater funds, will receive the River Wild boat for a total cost of $52,449.
The Jefferson County marine program currently has one full-time marine deputy and four seasonal deputies.
Jefferson County has about 5.380 surface acres of patrolled water and includes Lake Billy Chinook, Haystack Reservoir, Lake Simtustus, Suttle Lake and the Lower Deschutes River.