It's no surprise that
With over 500 arrests already under their belts, county police are reining in rowdy spring breakers with little manpower.
WCSO started the Sheriff's Posse/Volunteer Unit about three years ago, when spring break first started to take off in
"The idea was brought up at a town hall meeting with the public and county commission and Sheriff Adkinson," said WCSO Lt. Danny Garner. "We started off with approximately six people and we now have 21, with five more seeking to join the program."
Dressed in provided t-shirts, volunteers can donate any amount of time to patrol the beach areas and report any beach related violations of county ordinances and state statutes using their own cell phone. Volunteers go through the same type of education as those who enter Neighborhood Watch programs.
"They are advised not to approach the subjects; they're just reporting the crime," Garner said.
More people looking out for the beach will not only increase the safety of locals and tourists, but can save money by letting WCSO know where officers are needed most.
Spring break doesn't just mean loud, late-night parties and crowded beaches. When the party's over,
"Just last week I went to the beach and it wasn't white and pretty, but layered in trash," she said. “I know that WSCO and Tourist Development Council do what they can — the TDC pays to have the trash raked off the beach every night and it's ready to be littered all over again."
McDonald is still in the early stages of the campaign and is looking for volunteers to help her reach out to the community and to Southeastern colleges. If the campaign could just reach half of the breakers, she said, it would make a difference.
"These are our beautiful beaches," she said. "How can we let them be trashed?"