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Patrolling On The Weeki Wachee

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Around 7 to 12 nautical meandering miles long, discharging around 150,000,000 gallons of crystal clear 72 degree water a day, Weeki Wachee River attracts tourists from all over the United States and internationally. 

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That high volume of people comes with a downside; drugs, alcohol, and litter. 
That’s where Corporal Steven Kelly and Deputy Chris Downey of Hernando County Sheriff’s Patrol come in.

They are the watchful eyes of a river patrol designed to protect and keep the river safe.
Kelly said they are looking for drugs, alcohol and anything illegal on the river. Especially the dumping of trash.

In a casual survey on the river for three recent days the indication is as expected. The patrol is needed. Deanna Brom said, “Weeki is on the run a lot and If you like it or not drugs and stuff are there.”

Carol Manning, Brooksville, said she would like a shelter on the river for use during unexpected storms. “The Sheriff can protect us,” she added.

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At least two visitors weren’t in agreement.  One told me, “Simple. Your question sucks. If I want to drink or smoke weed, I will.”  Another simply said he feels uncomfortable with the presence of the patrol on the river.

Samantha Burlinham said the HCSO is a welcome sight on the river. “I love seeing them. Makes all of us feel safe.”

Lisa MacNeil
Lisa MacNeil
Lisa MacNeil is a reporter for the Hernando Sun as well as a business technology developer, specializing in website development, content management systems, and data analysis.
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