Letter: We need a police officer at the Town Beach

Posted 8/4/22

To the editor:I strongly urge our town officials to support the posting of a Bristol police officer at our Town Beach on weekends in the summer.Our town beach is an incredible natural resource and is …

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Letter: We need a police officer at the Town Beach

Posted

To the editor:

I strongly urge our town officials to support the posting of a Bristol police officer at our Town Beach on weekends in the summer.

Our town beach is an incredible natural resource and is one of the nicest, most beautiful town beaches in Rhode Island. My wife and I are distance swimmers and swim at our town beach almost every day in the summer months. I think many residents of Bristol may be unaware of or fail to appreciate this beautiful resource. Unfortunately, this resource is being overwhelmed and severely abused on most summer weekends.

The crowds during the summer weekends have grown significantly in the five years we have had the honor of living in this wonderful community. On a typical weekend day there can be over 2,000 people in the town beach area. At any event in Bristol with this size crowd, there would most certainly be some police presence for security and law enforcement purposes. On a Sunday morning after a Saturday crowd, the beach area is literally overflowing with trash, broken bottles, beer cans and bottles, dirty diapers, charcoal, etc. Alcohol and charcoal are illegal at the beach but both are used widely, with alcohol being consumed openly and in significant quantities. Illegally dumped charcoal recently caused a fire at the base of one of the newly planted trees at the beach. During this current drought, the use of charcoal could have dangerous outcomes.

The Park staff does an amazing job cleaning up the morning after, but they are being overwhelmed by the effort that is required. The staff also tries to curb the alcohol use at the beach, but they are not trained in law enforcement and could easily be injured in confrontations regarding alcohol enforcement. Posting a Bristol police officer at the beach on summer weekends has become absolutely necessary to maintain law and order, security, and the beauty of our wonderful Town Beach. The income from parking at the beach on weekends will most likely pay for the needed police presence.

I am happy that the Town shares this natural resource and that people from across the region are able to enjoy our beach, but they must abide by the reasonable laws and treat our beach and our town with the respect it deserves. Police presence at the beach will help to ensure that objective.

Scott Throwe
10 Duffield Road

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