NEWAYGO, Mich. — It’s a river that’s had a lot of issues in the past, from people drinking and partying to most recently, having 2 people busted for having sex.
There`s a crackdown underway on the Muskegon River in Newaygo County. New patrols this Summer have been on the lookout for anyone breaking the law in the water.
The Department of Natural Resources said that two people were arrested over the fourth of July weekend for engaging in sexual activity while on the water.
It`s an issue that has been a problem on the river for decades, but some people who live on the water said that the increased police presence is making the river a safer place for families.
“Every year my husband has to go down and pull an average of 1 or 2 people out of the river for being too intoxicated,” said Chris Arthur.
Chris Arthur said that she has lived on the Muskegon River in Newaygo County for over 20 years. She said that in most recent years, keeping intoxicated people out of her yard has been her biggest struggle.
“When you have large groups coming down the river and they are extremely intoxicated and even though you your property is posted, you’ll have 15 or 20 people charging onto your property,” said Arthur.
Arthur said that she`s seen it all with her backyard overlooking several miles of the river.
“They seem to think that they being on the river gives them every right to do whatever they want regardless of where they are, or who may be around them,” said Arthur.
Rachael Wisner runs her family’s business called Wisner Canoes. She said that they warn customers of the rules out on the water.
“We just tell them, you know make sure they follow the law. If it looks obviously private, you can’t stop there, but any place it looks obviously public, you can stop, swim and picnic,” said Wisner.
Wisner put up signs telling people to call police if they see anyone breaking the law.
“It’s usually when they are drinking, not always. Sometimes people are just jerks no matter what, but if they don’t realize they are drinking as much as they are because they are sitting in a tube,” said Wisner.
Both Wisner and Arthur said that this summer, there are three extra patrol boats on the water. They said that with law enforcement out every weekend, the message is being sent to anyone looking to have a little too much fun under the sun.
“I love having the extra enforcement out there. It’s great. I mean they are very friendly people and they are just there when you need them and we’ve always worked together with them, so it’s just nicer to have,” said Wisner.
“It’s been very positive. I can’t say enough positive support from law enforcement guys. They’ve been great. They are out there every weekend with extra patrols watching out for people,” said Arthur.
There were training sessions for volunteer spotters this Summer to work in conjunction with the task force to make things safer.
The join law enforcement effort will be out patrolling the river every weekend until Labor Day.