The town of Oak Bluffs and the U.S. Coast Guard have entered into an agreement that will allow the Oak Bluffs police to enforce Coast Guard laws in waters off the town when necessary.
On Monday morning, Capt. Raymond J. Perry, the captain of the port for Southeastern New England, joined Oak Bluffs police chief Erik G. Blake to sign the agreement at the police station.
Oak Bluffs police have a 36-foot high-speed boat that was purchased in 2004 with a federal homeland security grant. The 375-horsepower twin-screw boat is named Red White and Blue. The agreement, which gives the Oak Bluffs police law enforcement powers in Coast Guard safety and security zones, allows the town to cover security precautions when cruise ships put in, and in the event of a maritime incident. Oak Bluffs is a destination for cruise ships and serves as a port for a number of ferries.
“We have five different ferries coming into Oak Bluffs,” said Oak Bluffs police officer George Fisher this week, adding: “We need to work together.
This year eight cruise ship visits are planned in September and October.
“The Coast Guard is fortunate to have the opportunity to work with such capable and knowledgeable local experts in the interest of public safety,” said Mr. Perry, in a statement issued by the Coast Guard.