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  #31  
Old 11-06-2010
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Seems like our arguments are not separating the issues well at all.

The emotional one is whether this LEO exceeded his authority, used excessive force or improperly drew his weapon. I will not condone violations by the officers nor the public. Since we were not there, all the above conclusions are based upon the reader's imagination of the circumstances. I simply tried to suggest that there are circumstances that would make some of the above critics wet their pants. What if one out of every ten times you enter your office, someone threatens your life. That day didn't look different than any other until you came around the corner. It can't look different, the bad guys hide it. Yes, you need a good reason to point a loaded gun at someone. I think you would draw yours if you simply heard someone in your office after the above suggestion.

The factual issue is the local Sheriff's Dept has issued orders for their officers to make these boardings and check for compliance. You are required by law to accomodat the inspection. They aren't rogue LEOs on a vendetta. The Sheriff is an elected official wherever I've been. The law was written by other elected officials. The LEO is not the root issue.

This is not, despite the drama of one of the posts above, Nazi Germany. You can do something about it. Ranting here isn't going to fix anything.
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  #32  
Old 11-06-2010
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I don't like the nanny state that we seem to be in nor the over regulations that go along with it. We can all do something about it by voting in people who understand that simple statement and take actions to do something about it rather than just applying lip service at election time.

I've only been boarded once by the coast guard and they boarded while I maintained course under sail. No complaints and the two who boarded were very professional. One observation is that the officer in charge went below with me directly following him and he did turn his back to me out of sight of the other coastie. Not a good practice if I'ld been a bad guy.

There are two other episodes that friends told me about. One person was sailing offshore is a race at night and out of no where came a coast guard RIB with 5 or 6 people aboard requesting that he hove to. He refused saying that just because that they were all in a RIB did not give him a good feeling that they were actually coast guard and not in fact pirates in disguise. They disappeared in the night and returned with some picture ID's....which he still questioned. Finally he told them to light up the mother ship so that he could see for a fact it was a CG ship. This they did and permission was granted for them to board.....but by this time they decided that he was legit and went on without boarding.

Another episode was with the marine police. Another friend was anchored and took the dinghy ashore for the dog to go potty. When he was ashore the police came by and wanted to see his life preserver which he did not have in the dinghy. He refused to show the life preserver and stayed put on land until the police finally left. Apparently they can't issue a citation unless seeing you in the dinghy even though it was obvious how he got on land.
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  #33  
Old 11-06-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
Seems like our arguments are not separating the issues well at all.

The emotional one is whether this LEO exceeded his authority, used excessive force or improperly drew his weapon. I will not condone violations by the officers nor the public. Since we were not there, all the above conclusions are based upon the reader's imagination of the circumstances. I simply tried to suggest that there are circumstances that would make some of the above critics wet their pants. What if one out of every ten times you enter your office, someone threatens your life. That day didn't look different than any other until you came around the corner. It can't look different, the bad guys hide it. Yes, you need a good reason to point a loaded gun at someone. I think you would draw yours if you simply heard someone in your office after the above suggestion.

The factual issue is the local Sheriff's Dept has issued orders for their officers to make these boardings and check for compliance. You are required by law to accomodat the inspection. They aren't rogue LEOs on a vendetta. The Sheriff is an elected official wherever I've been. The law was written by other elected officials. The LEO is not the root issue.

This is not, despite the drama of one of the posts above, Nazi Germany. You can do something about it. Ranting here isn't going to fix anything.
Your rantings are typical of Criminal Cops protecting one another. Let me state again .... Almost the very same thing happened to me and my wife in Volusia County, in the almost same place, and probably by the very same deputy. I have agreed to testify if needed.
It is sad, but VERY typical, that one LEO not knowing the facts nor the facts of adjacent criminal activity of same deputies, attempts to make a blanket exoneration or become chief apologist of all LEOs, ..... have you no HONOR at all??? Get a life, get a 'decent' or 'honorable' job and stop making excuses for your fellow CRIMINALS.
I know what Nazis are, many of my family were nazis and many of my family members suffered from the nazis ... they too always blanket exonerated their polizei.
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  #34  
Old 11-06-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RichH View Post
Your rantings are typical of Criminal Cops protecting one another..........

It is sad, but VERY typical, that one LEO not knowing the facts nor the facts of adjacent criminal activity of same deputies, attempts to make a blanket exoneration or become chief apologist of all LEOs, .....

have you no HONOR at all??? Get a life, get a 'decent' or 'honorable' job and stop making excuses for your fellow CRIMINALS..........
Seriously, I get it. You have a major axe to grind. But consider this, you got my profession wrong. You might not be as cogent as you think.

I hope you are directing this misguided anger toward the policy makers that established the rules to board your craft. There are serious environmentalists that intend to make discharge rules even stronger. Grey water will eventually be required to stay in holding as well. Fire at the right target, or it will continue to come after you, no matter how much you mouth off.
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  #35  
Old 11-06-2010
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While I have no experience with Florida boat cops, I have had good and bad experiences with land locked cops. I would hope to think the situation would be the same on the water, where you could run into officers that are professional and polite or those that are along the lines of I am a cop and you are scum of the earth, RESPECT MY AUTHORITY!!.

I was similarly outraged last year from one of our counties finest detained me for over an hour for the simple fact that I was riding a motorcycle at 1:30AM and simply HAD to be up to no good. Didn't take into consideration I had just left work and was simply headed home, I was even still wearing my work uniform. When I told him that I was on the way home from work, this wonderful deputy actually looked at me and said Don't lie to me and expect me to think that the base is open 24/7 (I work on an Air Force base as a civilian acft mechanic, and yes it IS open 24/7).

When I went to make a complaint I got about the same general response as the letter in the OP post. Unless there is unreasonable amount of evidence the Sheriffs office would back up their men no matter what. I would suspect the same happened here, it is a case of they said we said and the officers have the backing of their department and we only have the word of the people involved.

Last edited by RobCross; 11-06-2010 at 04:21 PM.
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  #36  
Old 11-06-2010
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4. Eliminate septic system leachate discharges into Rose Bay.
The City of Port Orange and County of Volusia are working together to develop alternatives and funding options in providing sewer service to all Rose Bay residents. The City of Port Orange has qualified for a $6 million state revolving fund (SRF) loan to finance infrastructure improvements to connect central sewer service. Residents of Harbor Oaks have annexed into the City of Port Orange to provide city central sewer service. The County has indicated that the unincorporated area of Allandale will also be included in the sewage system upgrade.

Through local, state, and federal partnerships, Rose Bay can regain its former beauty and once again function as a productive estuary.


You just cant make this stuff Up the sewer system is marginal to nonexistent i guess there gonna pay for it with y-valve fines

U.S. Supreme Court Limits Police Search Powers During Arrests

And somebody update me as to when it became legal for the police to board and search at will as That was ONLY given to the Coast Guard
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Last edited by tommays; 11-06-2010 at 05:35 PM.
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  #37  
Old 11-06-2010
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Sadly this probably is the new normal

Seems to me since 9/11 we've had a general militarization of our police forces and some officers have taken it as license to do whatever they want; probable cause can be figured out later.
In my wildest imagination I would never have thought of city and local police in the US dressing in black, covering their faces with balaclava, brandishing automatic assault weapons and forcing citizens into and out of motor vehicles, homes, businesses, public places - pretty much anywhere they want all in the name of "you can't be too careful".
You can, we are, and bad stuff still happens.
Somewhere along the line part of the uniform became a shaved head, wrap around sunglasses, leather gloves to avoid touching the public and an "us versus them" attitude that departments and older officers either didn't or couldn't stop.
I've known a lot of good cops over many decades, for most it was a badge of honor that they rarely or never pulled their service weapon.
Many jobs are statistically and in reality more dangerous - commercial fishing and mining come to mind.
Every year many officers are killed in the line of duty in automobile accidents - most of them single car accidents.
Too many of our LEOs take their lives with their own weapons or are killed accidentally with them.
I'm sure law enforcement is a stressful occupation and often without thanks. But with that as a standard we'd all be pulling Glocks on each other all the time.
Back to the particulars of this thread - not shocking, certainly worrying. Had the vessel captain been wearing an oven mitt to move that pan of bacon he might be dead if he turned too quick. Certainly it would have ruined his life and that of the officer on the other side of the weapon - one shot, two victims.
I think the general change is even worse - when police behave as an occupying force where only the folks in blue are really okay, we, them and our way of life are in serious danger.
Terrorism is all about creating fear using a small force to move a larger force. We've compromised the freedom of our own nation in the name of defending against terrorists. Just what they wanted. Score one for them.
As for the war on drugs - we've made it too profitable to ever stop. It will never stop.
The war on sewage is a whole different thing, maybe a franchise operation? Death to Dumpers!?
If history is a lesson watch for the next step - dump sewage accidentally, or your engine leaks, bilge pump works too well or charts, hat or Coca Cola get blown overboard and your vessel may be confiscated as "proceeds of a criminal operation". Then it is eligible to be sold to provide funds for more and faster boats to apprehend more.......and on and on and on.
On the other hand you can drive an oil tanker or massive yacht onto rocks or coral reefs or blow out oil all over the Gulf of Mexico and no guns will be pointed at anyone. If police show up at all it will be to protect you from the "media" or the send the "media" off the publicly owned beach at the direction of privately owned PR folks. And ultimately the real dollar value of your fine will not amount to the failure to close a "sea ****" sanction.
This has nothing to do with sanitation, security or justice. It is about dollars.
As for being boarded in US waters, it is not your choice. If asked and you refuse that will be noted (particularly to any prosecutor involved) then ignored. In U.S. waters you can be boarded by any law enforcement officer at any time. Anything you say to that LEO can and will be used to prosecute you to the full extent of the law if you are arrested, or to bust your chops if you are not. "I only had two beers" is not a smart way to go.
"I closed all the sea cocks" might be good until they find one open. Are they sealed? Are you watching every move of the investigators? - of course not, you and the crew are being held, maybe at gunpoint, in the cockpit. Oh-oh, you just lied to an officer in an investigation. Martha Stewart and many others went to jail for that one.
The OP is fortunate that it worked out as well as it did, and that probably is the new normal - he was screwed but just think about how bad it could have been.

Last edited by Dfok; 11-06-2010 at 09:33 PM. Reason: too many commas - a affliction I try to overcome
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  #38  
Old 11-07-2010
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Florida regulations

As I'm thinking of visiting Florida on my way back from the Caribbean next spring I took an interest in this post. I then had a look at the Clean Vessel Act FAQ page on the Florida Department of Environmental Protection:
Clean Vessel Act Boater FAQ | Florida Clean Marina Program | Florida DEP

With regard to boardings for purposes of inspection it states:

Quote:

Are marine sanitation devices subject to inspection?
Yes. When the owner or operator is aboard, an officer may board a vessel with consent or if there is probable cause or knowledge to believe that a violation has occurred or is occurring. An officer may also board a vessel if the operator refuses or is unable to display the safety or marine sanitation equipment.
Let's unpack this:

Quote:
When the owner or operator is aboard, an officer may board a vessel WITH CONSENT... (emphasis mine)
-- that's clear enough, eh? "Consent" assumes a request is made to come aboard before the LEOs leap over your lifelines.

Quote:
...or IF THERE IS PROBABLE CAUSE OR KNOWLEDGE to believe that a violation has occurred or is occurring. (Again, emphasis mine)
We'll need a lawyer to explain the law surrounding probably cause, but a quick look at Wikipedia (I know...it's not the best source but it's quick and this discussion is among friends) provides the following:

Quote:
The best-known definition of probable cause is "a reasonable belief that a person has committed a crime".[2] Another common definition is "a reasonable amount of suspicion, supported by circumstances sufficiently strong to justify a prudent and cautious person's belief that certain facts are probably true".[3]
Now this leaves me wondering how the Volusia country sheriffs justified jumping over the lifelines unannounced. What was the indication that a crime was being committed, or was about to be committed? How was "a reasonable amount of suspicion" generated by these boaters? One guys a the wheel, another topside, a guy below fixing breakfast. Oooooohhhhhh....looks suspicious to me. Maybe it was the coffee the guy at the helm was drinking, because we all know what happens every morning after you've had your coffee.

To continue with the unpacking of DEP's FAQ on inspections...

Quote:
An officer may also board a vessel if the operator refuses...
This also seems to imply that a request to come aboard is made before boarding and that the request is refused, in which case the LEOs are coming aboard anyway.

And finally, an officer may board if the operator is....

Quote:
unable to display the safety or marine sanitation equipment.
I think they got us here...hard to rip out the head, haul it to the cockpit to "show" them. But, again, I think the presumption here must be that the LEO inquires first (as he pulls along side the LEO inquires, "Hey, skipper, you got a head?.....Yea, well show me?").

I haven't yet gone through the other bits of Florida law that might apply to a boarding officer engaged in doing his duty, but from what the Department of Environmental Protection is saying to the boating community via their webpage on this topic, it seems to me as if the sheriffs in Volusia country might be stepping over the line.
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  #39  
Old 11-07-2010
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speaking of can't be too careful

apparently seacock and sea **** are seen differently here - one gets **** and one does not.
Can't be too careful there........
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Old 11-07-2010
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This jailhouse lawyer just looked up the Flordia code and here's what it says:

Quote:

2006 Florida Code
TITLE XXIV VESSELS
Chapter 327 VESSEL SAFETY



327.56 Safety and marine sanitation equipment inspections; qualified.



327.56 Safety and marine sanitation equipment inspections; qualified.-- (1) No officer shall board any vessel to make a safety or marine sanitation equipment inspection if the owner or operator is not aboard. When the owner or operator is aboard, an officer may board a vessel with consent or when the officer has probable cause or knowledge to believe that a violation of a provision of this chapter has occurred or is occurring. An officer may board a vessel when the operator refuses or is unable to display the safety or marine sanitation equipment required by law, if requested to do so by a law enforcement officer, or when the safety or marine sanitation equipment to be inspected is permanently installed and is not visible for inspection unless the officer boards the vessel.

Now we know where the FAQ language originates (see my post above). My reading of this indicates that the law allows boardings by LEOs for a safety and sanitation equipment inspection to be done under any of the following circumstances:

1. Consent of the owner/operator
2. Probably cause or knowledge of a violation has occurred or is occurring
3. Inspection permanently installed equipment, but only after permission to board has be requested and refused.

I may be overstating (misintrepreting) the law in #3, but it seems to me that only circumstance #2 does not require the LEO to make a request to board before jumping the lifelines.

So I think what this means is that if they don't have "probably cause" they need to ask permission to board. Permission may be granted or refused; and, if refused, they may board anyway to inspect permanently installed equipment. Bottom line: they're coming aboard.

Now I guess we need to discuss what constitutes probably cause that a violation is taking place or is about to take place. Only thing I can think of is "floaters" in the wake.

Any real lawyers out there want to comment?
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