The policies and regulations Port San Luis Harbor Patrol officers adhere to are updated constantly as federal, state, and local laws change for the protection of officers and the public. These policies do assist in protecting the officers from liability as well as the port, but, in addition, protect the public from overzealous officers. Port San Luis wants their officers to adhere to the laws. Adhering to the laws and good policies in and of itself protects the community. The Harbor Commission recognizes that a one-size-fits-all does need tweaking to align with the mission of the Harbor Patrol and is doing that, so it reflects on those duties Harbor Patrol does on a daily basis. It should be noted here, Lexipol is not a requirement. It is an informational tool used by numerous law enforcement agencies throughout California. Take note: Port San Luis Harbor Patrol is a law enforcement agency, as are state park rangers, California Fish and Game wardens, Forest Service rangers, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife agents. To say they are "cops" is not true. They are enforcement personnel with their respective agencies. They enforce the regulations pertaining to their agency, but, in addition, enforce state and federal laws on an as-needed basis.
Does one think visitors to Port San Luis or a state park or national park only break those respective regulations? If that is your thought, then Harbor Patrol should ignore thefts, fights among visitors, and gun violence. You would want them to call someone else while you or your property is being violated. Just stand by and watch until a "cop" arrives? I would hope not.
Unfortunately, some visitors do bring their aggressive and bad behavior to recreational areas. Port San Luis is no exception. Harbor patrol officers are similar to park rangers. Are there shootings in state parks? Yes. Thefts? Yes. Domestic fights? Yes, as well as other state and federal law violations. State park rangers are peace officers who have enforcement training and carry protective equipment to protect the public as well as themselves, as do game wardens and harbor patrol officers.
Should we be apprehending juveniles? I would say it depends on crime. There are definitely circumstances where a juvenile should be apprehended. I know the public can think of several without me giving any. Vehicle pursuits? There again, I believe the public could give examples as to when a pursuit should start or end. In both cases, policy should be followed for the safety of harbor patrol officers and the public. A new policy for chaplains, I see only good out of that.
I am very optimistic about new and re-worded Port San Luis Harbor Patrol enforcement policies that truly serve the public and port's best interest for now and in the future. Port San Luis has a dedicated, very professional, and highly trained Harbor Patrol.
I feel qualified to express this opinion, having been a State Parks ranger at Pismo State Beach and a Fish and Game warden for 28 years on the Central Coast. I am currently a harbor commissioner and have been a Port San Luis Harbor commissioner for several terms. I am on the public safety committee.
This opinion is my own opinion. I am not representing the Port San Luis Harbor Commission. Δ
Drew Brandy is a Port San Luis Harbor commissioner. Send a response for publication to email@example.com.