20 Saw Mill Road, P.O. Box 37, Sherman, CT 06784-0037
Office: (860) 354-6928 • Fax: (860) 350-5611
Emergencies: Call 911 or the D.E.P. (860) 424-3333
LAKE HOUSATONIC AUTHORITY
P.O. Box 26, Derby, CT 06418 • (203) 732-8499
LAKE LILLINONAH AUTHORITY
11 Cove Road, Brookfield, CT 06864 • (203) 264-2360
LAKE ZOAR AUTHORITY
501 Main Street South, Southbury, CT 06488 • (203) 264-5246
LAKE BANTAM AUTHORITY (PATROL)
87 East Shore Road, Bantam CT 06763
The 3 digit number is from Connecticut's entity ID
Matter in (parenthesis) are the Towns in which each lake is situated. A single Town cannot form a Lake Authority.
Sec. 15-154. Enforcement (a) Any harbor master, deputy harbor master, conservation officer, special conservation officer or state police officer and any municipal police officer, any special police officer appointed under sections 29-18 and 29-19 or members of the volunteer police auxiliary force established under section 29-22, any town marine officers appointed under section 15-154a and certified by the commissioner for marine police duty and any lake patrolman appointed under section 7-151b may enforce the provisions of this chapter and chapter 446k. In the enforcement of this chapter, such officer may arrest, without previous complaint and warrant, any person who fails to comply with the provisions of this chapter. Failure to appear in court pursuant to such arrest, unless excused by the court or the state's attorney or assistant state's attorney, shall constitute sufficient cause for the suspension by the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles of the boat registration of the boat involved for not more than thirty days or until the matter is resolved by the court, whichever is sooner. (b) When engaged in the enforcement of this chapter and chapter 446k such officer shall have the authority to stop and board any vessel which is under way or which is moored on the waters of this state for the purposes of (1) examining decals, certificates and other documents, (2) inspecting safety equipment and waste disposal systems, (3) determining if the operation of such vessel exceeds the noise levels established in subsection (b) of section 15-129, (4) searching when he has probable cause to believe that any provision of any law of this state or any rule or regulation of the Department of Environmental Protection relating to boating or water pollution has been violated, (5) determining compliance with subsection (d) of section 15-133, when he has probable cause to believe said section has been violated, and (6) making arrests. No person operating a vessel shall refuse to stop his vessel or, if sea conditions make stopping in that area unsafe, refuse to take his vessel to a designated area after being requested or signalled to do so by an authorized law enforcement officer. Any person operating a vessel who refuses to stop or refuses to take his vessel to the designated area shall have committed an infraction. Any person, when signalled to stop by an officer in a law enforcement vessel using an audible signal device or flashing blue lights, who operates his vessel in disregard of such signal so as to (A) interfere with or endanger the operation of the law enforcement vessel or any other vessel, (B) endanger or cause damage to property or person or (C) increase speed in an attempt to escape or elude such law enforcement officer shall be fined not less than one hundred dollars nor more than five hundred dollars for a first offense and for any subsequent offense shall be fined not less than five hundred dollars nor more than one thousand dollars. Proof of the registration number of the vessel shall be prima facie evidence in any prosecution that the owner was the operator. (c) The Commissioner of Environmental Protection shall publish an enforcement manual, conduct training and educational sessions, serve as liaison between the enforcement groups and the Superior Court and shall be generally responsible for the overall coordination of enforcement. (1961, P.A. 506, S. 21; 1963, P.A. 552, S. 2; 1967, P.A. 170, S. 1; 1969, P.A. 219, S. 1; 1971, P.A. 54, S. 2; 872, S. 391; P.A. 73-257, S. 18, 27; P.A. 74-183, S. 205, 291; P.A. 76-381, S. 34; 76-436, S. 175, 681; P.A. 81-423, S. 14, 25; P.A. 82-472, S. 38, 48, 183; P.A. 84-268, S. 2; P.A. 87-505, S. 2, 9; P.A. 89-388, S. 9, 23, 27.) History: 1963 act added volunteer police auxiliary force member to Subsec. (a); 1967 act substituted "chapter" for "part", amended Subsec. (b) to allow boarding of boat operated in reckless manner, to expand provisions re stopping boat when signalled to do so and to include provision for fine and added Subsec. (c) re enforcement by boat safety commission; 1969 act provided in Subsec. (a) for suspension of registration for failure to appear in court; 1971 acts allowed enforcement of chapter provisions by town marine officer and replaced "boating commission" and "commission" with "commissioner" referring to commissioner of environmental protection; P.A. 73-257 gave enforcement power to special police officer, extended enforcement to part II of chapter 474 and chapter 474a, replaced references to summons with references to arrest powers, gave power to suspend registration to motor vehicles commissioner rather than environmental protection commissioner and deleted provision which allowed arrest only on court order or warrant issued by prosecuting officer and amended Subsec. (b) to allow officer to stop boats as specified, replacing requirement that patrols be made only in marked police vessels and that vessels be stopped only if ID number not displayed or if boat is operated recklessly; P.A. 74-183 replaced circuit court with court of common pleas in Subsec. (c); P.A. 76-381 replaced provision for fifty dollar maximum fine in Subsec. (b) with statement that violator deemed to have committed an infraction; P.A. 76-436 replaced "prosecutor" with "state's attorney" or "assistant state's attorney" in Subsec. (a) and replaced court of common pleas with superior court in Subsec. (c), effective July 1, 1978; P.A. 81-423 inserted "vessel" in lieu of "motorboat" where appropriate in Subsec. (b); P.A. 82-472 divided Subsec. (b) into Subdivs. and made other technical corrections; P.A. 84-268 amended Subsec. (b) by inserting Subdiv. (3) authorizing an officer to stop and board vessels to determine compliance with noise level standards and renumbered the remaining Subdivs. accordingly; P.A. 87-505 amended Subsec. (b) by adding provision re penalty failure to stop a vessel and substituted reference to searching with "probable cause" for reference to searching without a warrant; P.A. 89-388 amended Subsec. (a) to authorize lake patrolmen to enforce boating law and water pollution control law and amended Subsec. (b) by adding Subdiv. (5) re probable cause for violations of Sec. 15-133 and renumbering the remaining Subdiv. accordingly. See chapter 881b re infractions of the law. Cited. 224 C. 29, 37.
c. 15-154a. Town marine officers and auxiliaries. (a) The selectmen of any town may appoint for such length
of time as they determine such number of special constables to be called town marine officers as they deem
necessary to enforce the provisions of this chapter, section 53-134, subsection (b) of section 53a-119b and section 53a-182
on any body of water that lies wholly or partially within the jurisdiction of the town, and the provisions of section 22a-250 on
any body of water that lies wholly or partially within the jurisdiction of the town or upon land adjacent to such body of water
and within the jurisdiction of the town.
(b) The selectmen of any town may appoint for such length of time as they determine town marine auxiliaries to the municipal police. Such auxiliaries may monitor any body of water wholly or partially within the jurisdiction of the town or land adjacent to such body of water for compliance with the provisions of this chapter, section 53-134, subsection (b) of section 53a-119b and section 53a-182, provided such auxiliaries shall not have the power to arrest any person and shall not be considered peace or police officers. The Commissioner of Environmental Protection shall develop a training program for such auxiliaries.
Based on the above statutes, it appears that Lake Patrolman are:
1. Not listed as Peace Officers in the Penal Code.
2. May enforce boating and pollution laws delegated by the D.E.P.
3. Must complete required training by the D.E.P.
4. Have arrest powers for violations of law.
5. May board a vessel to inspect for compliance of law.
6. Have general police powers with regard to boating enforcement.
RE: #1: The list of Peace Officers are generally referred to fully certified Police Officers, who (with a few exceptions) are currently required to attend the Police Academy. ATTORNEY GENERAL OPINION
RE: #2: The D.E.P. is the primary law enforcement agency of the lake, and has oversite of Lake Patrolmen. The D.E.P. Commissioner is the actual "appointing authority" of all Lake Patrolmen, and delegates the duties of Lake Patrolmen.
RE: #3: The D.E.P. currently provides about 60 hours of training (which may include firearms training) to Lake Patrolmen. Since the majority of Patrolmen are seasonal positions, the cost to Lake Authorities and Towns is considered more reasonable than the more costly alternative to send each officer to the Police Academy.
RE: #4, #5, and #6: Section 15-154 (listed above) clearly authorizes Lake Patrolmen to make arrests, to board vessels of lawbreakers, and requires boats stop when approached with emergency lights flashing and provides penalties for failure to comply.
The above statutes give Lake Patrolmen the needed tools to enforce boating/water pollution laws. With training and oversite by the D.E.P., Lake Authorities have a cost effective way to establish and maintain seasonal lake patrols. Lake Authorities are not required to employ lake patrolmen. Only the Candlewoood Lake Authority, the Lake Housatonic Authority, and the Bantam Lake Authority currently employ Lake Patrolmen under 7-151b.