In preparation for the Fourth of July holiday … Sheriff Scott addresses issue of increase in island beachgoers

June 23, 2017
By Marcy Shortuse

■ BY SHERIFF MIKE SCOTT
I was born and raised in Lee County; in fact, I am a third-generation native, and I have witnessed many changes over the years.
From Boca Grande to Bonita Springs and east to the outer reaches of Lehigh Acres, Lee County is a large, 1,000-square-mile jurisdiction.
Fast approaching my 30th year with the Sheriff’s Office and now in my fourth 4-year term as your elected Sheriff, I remain proud to serve and am focused on the mission.I was born and raised in Lee County; in fact, I am a third-generation native, and I have witnessed many changes over the years.
From Boca Grande to Bonita Springs and east to the outer reaches of Lehigh Acres, Lee County is a large, 1,000-square-mile jurisdiction.
Fast approaching my 30th year with the Sheriff’s Office and now in my fourth 4-year term as your elected Sheriff, I remain proud to serve and am focused on the mission.
While Gasparilla Island is partly in Charlotte County, the entirety of Boca Grande itself is in Lee County.
We work well with the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office, and we value our relationships with the community.
At present, we have three “resident” deputies assigned to Boca Grande full-time, and I am currently working to identify a fourth deputy to replace a recently retired member who was part of our Boca team when he separated.
I anticipate filling that position very soon.
Over the years, there have been changes in the dynamics of Gasparilla Island, and increasingly we are seeing more and more people visiting for day trips and holiday celebrations.
Just last month, Memorial Day brought record crowds by land and water, and I am personally overseeing an enhancement of our efforts for the Fourth of July holiday upcoming and the traditional “season” between February and May.
While I understand why so many want to enjoy our coastal paradise, I also want to reaffirm my policing commitment to this special gem in our county that gives so much and asks so little.
To that end, you can expect an increased, law enforcement presence on the roadways, along the beaches, and on the water, with a continued emphasis on community policing that focuses on citizen interaction, education and crime prevention.
As well, we will engage with the enforcement of state laws and county ordinances whenever necessary to preserve the quality of life that we all expect and deserve.