Castleton Police to patrol Bomoseen State Park - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Castleton Police to patrol Bomoseen State Park

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Jack Master, a visitor at Lake Bomoseen, likes the decision to add police presence in the state park.

"It certainly made sense. I'm in favor of it," Master said.

Park officials say an increase in nighttime noise prompted the initiative.

"In order to preserve the recreation experience for both the individuals but especially the families that go to Bomoseen state park, we thought this would be a proactive initiative," said Maria Mayer of the Vt. Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation.

A contract is currently in the works with Castleton Police, who will be hired by the park for a summer fee of roughly $7,000. There will be one officer on duty, who will conduct a seven-hour foot patrol throughout the park. Castleton Police Chief Bruce Sherwin says in previous summers, the police would only drive through the parks, so these foot patrols will be a first.

"From the police department perspective it's good PR, I believe. It is something where we will be interacting with the campers-- stopping and visiting with them and looking for potential problems," Sherwin said.

The patrols will mostly happen in the evening time and on weekends. Sherwin says there have been noise issues regarding drinking parties in the past, but hopes a police presence will deter future gatherings.

"If people know that there is going to be a police officer walking around in the park, certainly it is going to prevent things from getting out of hand," Sherwin said.

State park officials say socializing is a major part of camping, and they are not trying to stop friends and families from gathering, only cut down on noise during quiet hours.

"There is going to be some semblance of peace and quiet that you would go outside for-- between the hours of 10-7 they are going to be able to do that. So I think that is the main thing we are trying to get at," Mayer said.

On slower days at Lake Bomoseen, the patrol officers on duty have been asked to check on Half Moon and Lake St. Catherine parks for additional patrols.

Officials say there have been a few cases of theft in the state park, but that's not what's fueling the increased patrols.

The Bomoseen State Park will be open Memorial Day weekend.

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