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Florence police patrolling waterways

The Lauderdale County Sheriff's office will monitor Wilson Lake along with Marine Police. Down steam from Wilson Dam Florence Police will monitor those waterways.

Posted: May 23, 2020 12:26 PM
Updated: May 23, 2020 7:02 PM

Saturday, people flocked to McFarland Park in Florence. By noon the parking lots at the park were just about full and so were the campgrounds.

For the most part people were social distancing and many were going out on boats. WAAY31 road along with Florence police as they patrolled the waterways near McFarland Park on Saturday.

This portion of the Tennessee River along with Wilson Lake are normally hot spots of activity in the summer months and especially popular on Memorial Day Weekend. Officer Tyler Melton and Sgt. Mark Senf are in charge of patrolling those waterways for Florence Police on Saturday.

Both Melton and Senf said they believe more people will be out this weekend on the water and at McFarland Park because the state is starting to reopen due to the coronavirus.

"Everybody has got a boat. Everyone is going to be contacting their friends who have a boat," said Melton. "Even on the streets in the city things are opening up and people are getting out."

Florence police said they have seen more people out and about, and recommend people follow the Alabama Department of Public Heath's social distancing of six feet. Dewayne Malone, was at McFarland Park on Saturday with a group of young men he and his friends mentor through their non-profit.

Malone and his group were fishing off the piers and they had on masks and gloves. Malone said they wanted to get out and do something outdoors.

"When we planned the outing for today I knew I was going to get mask and gloves and different things because safety is important," said Malone.

Malone said it's important for young people to see adults setting a good example and practicing hand washing, social distancing, and wearing ppe's like masks and gloves.

"We don't want them to get sick or take anything away to someone away from here," said Malone.

Florence police told WAAY31 in previous patrols of the park most people were obeying the social distancing guidelines so they haven't had to get on to people for not following it. They hope the public will keep doing the safety measures recommended by the CDC and ADPH.

As for being on the water during a busy boating holiday Florence police said people need to wear their life vests, keep and eye on the weather, and don't drink and operate a boat.

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