SantaCruz Harbor

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Harbor Patrol Description

Marine Rescue Service

The use of the patrol vessels by Santa Cruz harbor patrol staff within the harbor is an integral part of the primary responsibilities of managing the harbor on a day-to-day basis and providing law enforcement patrol protection. Duties include enforcement of boating safety rules of the road, harbor and state boating regulations, and support to other agencies. The Santa Cruz harbor patrol strives to provide the best level of service to its boating customers.

The Port District provides the only 24-7 rescue boat service in the north Monterey Bay. The fully trained harbor patrol officers respond to beach, cliff and boating emergencies. The patrol boat responds to an average of 100 marine rescue calls a year. Many rescues are done in coordination with other agencies such as the United States Coast Guard, State Parks, Santa Cruz City Police and the Santa Cruz County Sheriff.

Philosophy of Law Enforcement

Santa Cruz Port District seeks to provide a safe and efficient environment for working, boating, and recreation. The Santa Cruz harbor patrol is charged with an important role in accomplishing this mission. The harbor patrol’s role is that of a generalist, with law enforcement duties being a limited but vital part of the Port District’s mission. The following standards shall guide the harbor patrol’s enforcement actions:

  • The safety of patrol staff and harbor patrons is the highest priority.
  • The harbor patrol’s law enforcement role is limited in scope and vital to the safe and efficient operation of the Port District.
  • The harbor patrol will work with appropriate allied agencies to gain voluntary compliance.
  • The harbor patrol will balance its law enforcement role with medical, fire and search and rescue according to the priorities established by its Standard Operating Procedures.
  • The harbor patrol will strive for the highest level of professionalism in all its dealings with harbor patrons. The harbor patrol will utilize an educational approach, hoping to increase safety through the appropriate and proper use of Port District facilities.

The Santa Cruz harbor patrol gains “pride through service.”

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