Beaufort News

Port Royal police increasing patrols at The Sands

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  • Visitors to The Sands in Port Royal enjoy the warm weather Friday afternoon.  Port Royal police say they have upped their patrol of The Sands and are cracking down on rule-breakers.
    Visitors to The Sands in Port Royal enjoy the warm weather Friday afternoon. Port Royal police say they have upped their patrol of The Sands and are cracking down on rule-breakers. Jonathan Dyer/The Beaufort Gazette

    Drinking alcohol or breaking other laws on Port Royal's small public beach and boat ramp -- The Sands -- is more likely to get you in trouble this year than last, according to local officials.

    The town recently decided to patrol the area "a little more intensely" than in the past, town manager Van Willis said.

    Port Royal Police Department statistics indicate 21 people have been arrested or cited for various offenses so far this year, compared to seven during the same period last year, Capt. Alan Beach said.

    Most offenses involve alcohol, which is not allowed at The Sands, Beach said.

    Open-container violations and driving-related offenses -- such as running stop signs or careless vehicle operation -- account for most incidents, he added.

    Police attribute the increase in citations and arrests to more manpower.

    With more officers on active patrol this year, the department can keep a closer eye on the local hangout, where people flock in greater numbers in warm-weather months, Police Chief Jim Cadien said.

    "If we're down there more often, we'll catch them more often," Cadien said.

    The Sands, at the edge of the town's historic village, overlooks the Beaufort River near its convergence with Battery Creek.

    As the weather warms and schools close for the summer, the Police Department also is keeping a closer eye on the skate park off Ribaut Road, where a few people have recently been arrested for simple possession of illegal drugs, Cadien said.

    "Certain times of year when the activity picks up, we have to step up our patrols," he said.

    The town has also formed a three-member Neighborhood Enhancement Team this year. The new program, funded partly by a federal grant, increases education and enforcement in areas with a high number of traffic accidents or crimes, officials said.

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