Governor DeSantis signs bill granting exclusive beach law enforcement.
Written by Kristen Schmutz
Belden Communications News
In a significant development for beach safety and law enforcement, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis officially signed HB 1595, also known as the Law Enforcement Operations bill, on Thursday, May 25, 2023. This legislation mandates that the Sheriff's Office assume exclusive law enforcement authority on Volusia beaches, marking a notable shift in responsibilities.
The bill solidifies a collaborative effort between deputies and Beach Safety officers, who have been preparing for this transition. With Governor DeSantis putting pen to paper, the anticipated partnership between the two groups is now official.
Sheriff Mike Chitwood expressed his appreciation for the coordinated efforts of Volusia County Manager George Recktenwald, his administration and staff, the Volusia County Council, and the dedicated professionals within the Sheriff's Office and Beach Safety. Their meticulous planning has ensured a seamless and efficient transition within a relatively short period.
Under the new law, Beach Safety will retain its role in managing the beach and delivering essential services such as lifeguard supervision and emergency medical assistance to beachgoers. Concurrently, the Sheriff's Office deputies will be responsible for law enforcement and maintaining public safety on the beach.