HomeLocalNew police boat improves capabilities

New police boat improves capabilities

Now patrolling the waters off the Island Paradise — a new 26 foot patrol boat that will make it easier for marine patrol officers to do their jobs, officials said. 

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Mayor Joe Rasco popped a bottle of champagne Friday to launch the new boat, a Fluid 780 rigid inflatable, as Police Chief Frank Sousa, Manager Steve Williamson, and Council Members Frank Caplan, Allison McCormick, and Oscar Sardiñas applauded.

“Because it’s rubberized, it’s much easier to maneuver,” said Sousa. With a draft of 18 inches, the vessel can get into shallow areas and tie up closer to other vessels that police are stopping. “Our other boat was in pretty bad shape, “ Sousa said. 

Sousa says the new boat, able to work both bay and ocean waters, will enable the department to have two vessels available on weekends, the busiest time for marine officers. 

Key Biscayne Mayor Joe Rasco pops champagne to launch the island’s newest maritime patrol boat, Jan. 27, 2023. Watching are Vice Mayor Frank Caplan, Police Chief Frank Sousa, Council Member Allison McCormick, and Village Manager Steve Williamson. The Fluid 780 rigid inflatable cost $150,000, with half coming from state funds (KBI Photo/Tony Winton

The vessel, equipped with twin Mercury 150 outboard engines, cost about $150,000, but the Village is getting a $75,000 grant from the Florida Inland Navigation District to offset the expense, Williamson said. The Fluid 780 is popular with other police agencies in South Florida, officials said. 

“Thanks for making it happen,” said officer Yoniel Alfonso, who gave the council members a brief cruise around No Name Harbor. “It’s a lot more comfortable working with good equipment.” 

One thing the boat doesn’t have yet? A name.

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Tony Winton is the editor-in-chief of the Key Biscayne Independent and president of Miami Fourth Estate, Inc. He worked previously at The Associated Press for three decades winning multiple Edward R. Murrow awards. He was president of the News Media Guild, a journalism union, for 10 years. Born in Chicago, he is a graduate of Columbia University. His interests are photography and technology, sailing, cooking, and science fiction.

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