ANNAPOLIS - Good weather this Memorial Day holiday weekend kept the Maryland Natural Resources Police (NRP) busy as they checked over 16,000 boaters, made more than 14,000 contacts on Maryland's waterways, and watched over 117,000 visitors to Maryland's state parks, all as part of Operation Osprey, their Memorial Day safety campaign for 2006.
NRP checked 16,134 boaters, made 14,543 contacts and performed 3,518 vessel safety checks. Officers issued 504 citations and 1,846 warnings, a 41 percent increase over last year. Officers arrested 11 individuals for operating a vessel under the influence of alcohol, up 64 percent. NRP also arrested five for other criminal acts and one for operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol. In addition, they investigated eight accidents with no life threatening injuries; four of which were boating related.
"Our goal is to reduce the number of boating accidents throughout the state and to increase the safety of all visitors to our state forests and parks," said Col. Mark S. Chaney, Superintendent of the NRP. "Operation Osprey is part of our continuing commitment to meet that goal."
The Maryland Natural Resources Police is the enforcement arm of the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). With an authorized strength of 280 officers and a staff of civilian and volunteer personnel, the NRP provide a variety of services in addition to conservation and boating law enforcement duties throughout the State of Maryland. These services include homeland security, search and rescue, emergency medical services, education, information and communications services on a round the clock basis. NRP is the only police force aside from the Maryland State Police that has statewide jurisdiction.
The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages more than 446,000 acres of public lands and 17,000 miles of waterways, along with Maryland's forests, fisheries and wildlife for maximum environmental, economic and quality of life benefits. A national leader in land conservation, DNR-managed parks and natural, historic and cultural resources attract 12 million visitors annually. DNR is the lead agency in Maryland's effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay, the state's number one environmental priority. You can learn more at http://www.dnr.maryland.gov/ .