Resident requests police presence

Associate Publisher

One north end resident is expressing the need for the town to do something about the problem of ‘aggressive fishermen’ at Greer (aka Beer Can) Island.

In a letter to town commissioners and Police Chief Pete Cumming dated Oct. 7, Land’s End resident Tom Mayers explained the need for increased police presence at the north end.

“After the events of this last week on the pass at the North End of Longboat Key, I thought that it would be best to write you a letter. I have personally experienced problems with aggressive fishermen around the bridge here… ‘Aggressive fishing’ should be an oxymoron. Passive fishing, recreational fishing and other similar terms may be how 99 percent of the public would describe their fishing activity. There is a very small group of aggressive fishermen who are making it difficult for people to enjoy their houses on the water and for people to feel safe and secure in public swimming areas,” wrote Mayers.

Mayers goes on to explain that he and a friend were swimming off of Greer Island when three men decided to fish on either side of them until they were less than 10 feet away from the Mayers, continuing to cast their fishing lines. Mayers wrote that he and his friend left after he exchanged words.

“These are the same people who left garbage on the beach the week before and threw their fire charcoal in the shallow water. The only way that I could explain their activity was that it was rude and that they may have been drinking,” wrote Mayers.

Mayers also wrote that there are certain boats that get within 10 feet of his boat dock, and that when he tells them to stay further away, they mock him and proclaim they can be as close as they wish to the dock.

Mayers’ request for more police patrol was met with a positive response from Police Chief Pete Cumming, as well as Commissioners Lynn Larson and Pat Zunz.

Larson wrote to Mayers, “No one should feel unsafe in their home and any suspicious person should be called in to the police department so that the police may follow up.”

Police Chief Cumming acknowledged to the town commission and Mayers that the police department received several calls over the last two weekends relating to persons behaving inappropriately around Beer Can island and the Land’s End community.

“While these incidents are not serious in nature, nor likely related, each deserve attention. After reading reports and discussing the incidents with investigating officers, I notified Marine Patrol Officer Silverio and briefed him on the details. Officer Silverio was instructed to increase patrols in the area of Jewfish Key, Beer Can, and along the Land’s End community. The police department has been cross-training patrol officers in Marine Enforcement and will employ two vessels during periods of peak activity.”

Cumming also informed that Officer Silverio notified the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office Marine Patrol Commander requesting assistance with additional patrols in the area to deal with potential problems. According to Longboat Key Police, patrol officers will be more visible in the village and on-foot along the north end beaches explaining and enforcing ordinances.

Commissioner Pat Zunz who lives at the north end of the key also wrote to Town Manager David Bullock and Police Chief Cumming regarding the problem.

“I hope attention is paid to these remarks made by Mr. Mayers. Beer Can Island merits more attention than it has been given, and more than a few of the boaters are abusing what Beer Can has to offer and are driving away people who want to enjoy the beach without alcohol, without boom boxes, and without dogs running loose.”



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1 Response for “Resident requests police presence”

  1. ghostrider says:

    I’m a surf fisherman. I haven’t seen the “aggression” that is described. I have seen, however, boats near docks and boats entering the marsh area and would hope there is some statute in place for that.

    I do have another recommendation:
    One should be PROHIBITED from drinking an alcoholic beverage on a beach or boat. Alcohol and engines are lethal combos.

    I have zero tolerance for people who later say: “I am sorry.”

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