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White Lake Sheriff's Marine Patrols


Report serious incidents or dangerous activity on the lake immediately by calling 9-1-1
or the Oakland County Sheriff Dispatcher at 248.858.4950

Those having an issue with the patrol officers are encouraged to contact the Oakland County Marine Sheriff directly at 248.858.1664, and also to let us know by contacting the WLCL Hotline at 248.887.5658 and/or e-mailing us at patrols@wlcl.org.


During the Summer season, there are weekend, holiday, and random mid-week marine patrols on White Lake by the Oakland County Sheriff Marine Unit. These patrols are managed by the White Lake Citizens League, and funded from the Special Assessment District. A proposed schedule is provided at the beginning of each season by the WLCL.

Residents with questions or concerns about the patrols may contact Patte Day, WLCL Government Affairs Liaison and Liaison to the Sheriff Marine Unit at patrols@wlcl.org.

Boaters on White Lake are encouraged to read and follow The Handbook of Michigan Boating Laws and Responsibilities, which contains information about the regulations enforced by the Sheriff Marine Unit, as well as valuable information about safe boating practices. See more information on the Boating Safety & Regulations page.




Summary of 2013 Information
May 25, 2013 - September 2, 2013

(Provided by the OAKLAND COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE MARINE UNIT)


Patrol Hours 183 
Total Hours Billed (@ $31.50/hour)183
Total Cost Billed
(Special Assessment District funds)
$5764.50

Number of Contacts 442
Number of Tickets 12
Number of Warnings 112
Number of Complaints 2
Number of Safety Inspections 96
Number of Accidents - Boat 0
Number of Accidents - Non-Boat 0
Number of OUIL Arrests 1
Number of Calls for Service 2
Number of Citizen Assists 3

Summary of Tickets Issued
Equipment Violation - Unregistered Vessel/Expired Decal 2
Equipment Violation - PFDs3
Equipment Violation - Safety Equipment 1
Moving Violation - No Observer While Towing Person(s) 1
Moving Violation - Operating w/o Boating Safety Certufucate 1
Moving Violation - Violation of 100 ft Rule, Vessel and/or Skier 1
Moving Violation - Violation Distance Required - 100 ft No Wake 1
Moving Violation - O.U.I.L. 1
Moving Violation - Child Under 6 Not Wearing Type I or II PFD 1





Summary of 2012 Information
May 26, 2012 - September 2, 2012

(Provided by the OAKLAND COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE MARINE UNIT)


Patrol Hours 205.5 
Total Hours Billed (@ $31.37/hour)205.5
Total Cost Billed
(Special Assessment District funds)
$6446.54

Number of Contacts 838
Number of Tickets 13
Number of Warnings 170
Number of Complaints 4
Number of Safety Inspections 155
Number of Calls for Service 3
Number of Citizen Assists 25

Summary of Tickets Issued
Equipment Violation - Unregistered Vessel/Expired Decal 2
Equipment Violation - PFDs1
Equipment Violation - Fire Extinguisher Violation 1
Moving Violation - Improper Riding, Standing, or Sitting 1
Moving Violation - Operating w/o BSC 2
Moving Violation - Violation of 100 ft Rule, Vessel and/or Skier 2
Moving Violation - Reckless Operation 2
Non-Moving Violation - Registration Not On Board 2





Summary of 2011 Information
May 28, 2011 - September 5, 2011

(Provided by the OAKLAND COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE MARINE UNIT)


Patrol Hours 212 
Total Hours Billed (@ $31.18/hour)212
Total Cost Billed
(Special Assessment District funds)
$6610.16

Number of Contacts 623
Number of Tickets 16
Number of Warnings 139
Number of Complaints 1
Number of Safety Inspections 131
Number of Dispatched Calls 9

Summary of Tickets Issued
Equipment Violation - Unregistered Vessel/Expired Decal 3
Equipment Violation - PFDs1
Equipment Violation - Improper Lighting 1
Equipment Violation - Fire Extinguisher Violation 1
Moving Violation - Improper Riding, Standing, or Sitting 2
Moving Violation - Operating w/o BSC 3
Moving Violation - No Observer While Towing Person(s) 2
Moving Violation - Violation of Rules of Vessel Operation 2
Moving Violation - Operating During Restricted Times 1




Summary of 2010 Information
May 29, 2010 - September 6, 2010

(Provided by the OAKLAND COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE MARINE UNIT)


Patrol Days36
Patrol Hours 153.0 
Maintenance/Log Sheets Hours 14.25
Total Hours Billed (@ $31.18/hour)167.25
Total Cost Billed
(Special Assessment District funds)
$5214.85

Number of Contacts 529
Number of Tickets 11
Number of Warnings 144
Number of Complaints 10
Number of Safety Inspections 106
Number of Dispatched Calls 15

Summary of Tickets Issued
Equipment Violation - Unregistered Vessel/Expired Decal 2
Equipment Violation - PFDs4
Equipment Violation - Safety Equipment 1
Moving Violation - 100 ft & less than 3 ft depth - No Wake 1
Moving Violation - Improper Riding, Standing, or Sitting 1
Moving Violation - Operating w/o BSC 1
Appearance Violation - Trespassing1




The following additional information was provided for 2010 by the Oakland County Sheriff's Office:


In addition to the contracted hours, the OCSO Marine Unit also provided the following to White Lake under our budget and not billed to White Lake residents:
Patrol Hours 84.25
Number of Contacts 238
Number of Tickets 7
Number of Warnings 13
Number of Complaints 6
Number of Boat Accidents 2
Number of Non-boat Accidents 1

On August 22, 2010 there was a Helicopter Crash on White Lake. There were no reported injuries but we had a Marine Deputy working on the lake at the time and assisted FAA, Highland Fire, and Road Patrol in handling the crash investigation. Having a Marine Deputy on scene was a big help in putting their devices into the water to contain the fuel / oil leakage in the lake. The additional hours that were spent with this assist were charged to the Marine Unit budget and not to the White Lake contract.

On September 5, 2010 I put an additional boat staffed with two Marine Deputies for the White Lake "Mardi Gras" event. This is a non-sanctioned event that has grown in size over the years and proved to be a problem with the drinking and fights that take place. This year OCSO Marine Deputies assisted DNRE Conservation Officers with a fight that ended up in an arrest. OCSO Marine Deputies also assisted in the saving of a life when they observed a woman face down in the lake and were able to pull her from the water and get her to shore for medical treatment. The woman was not conscious and needed follow up treatment at the hospital. If OCSO Marine Deputies did not observe and respond to this incident she surely would have drowned.

We had an additional three Marine / Reserve Deputies that assisted in this detail with donating their time. This was non charged / billed hours that was not reflected in the statistics but documented on log sheets as volunteer service.

On July 3, 2010 we had an additional Reserve Deputy who assisted the Marine Deputy during the White Lake Fireworks show. The night was success with no reported accidents or injuries.

Reserves have also contributed in making occasional checks of the White Lake boat during the summer as scheduled maintenance. This was also volunteer time and not billed to the contract.

2010 was a hot summer and there is no question that the presence of the OCSO Marine Unit on White Lake contributed to it being a safe and relatively uneventful one.

        Sgt. Matt Snyder
        Marine Unit / Dive Team / Aviation Unit
        Oakland County Sheriff's Office




2010 History


The Oakland County Sheriff announced that, due to budget cuts, it must reduce or eliminate Marine Patrols on Oakland County inland lakes this year. The Sheriff's Marine Division has indicated that it will continue to provide a deputy to patrol any lake at a cost of $32 per hour.
You can read some local media articles below.

Many lake residents expressed concern about this decision, and its impact on White Lake. The WLCL and the White Lake Improvement Board (WLIB) explored the possibility that WLIB funds could be used to pay for marine patrols on White Lake this summer. It must first be determined if this expense would be a legally acceptable Lake Board expenditure, and if it is determined to be so, the WLIB would be required to conduct a public hearing to amend the Special Assessment District budget adopted last fall.

In the meantime, we collected public opinion and comments about some possible options in an online poll conducted from 4/09/10 - 5/08/10. While this poll was non-scientific and completely non-binding, it may be helpful as the WLIB and the WLCL examine possible funding. Click here to view the results of this poll.

At it's May 26, 2010 meeting, the WLCL Board voted 12 - 0 to ask the White Lake Improvement Board (WLIB) to proceed with a public hearing to investigate using WLIB funds to provide weekend and holiday Marine Patrols this summer.

On July 14, 2010 the White Lake Improvement Board held a Public Hearing to discuss the proposal from the WLCL to reallocate funds from the current Special Assessment District to pay for Oakland County Sheriff Marine Patrols on White Lake this summer. The Improvement Board voted in favor of the proposal. Click here to view the WLCL presentation slides from this meeting.

On August 25, 2010 the following attended the regular WLCL meeting to discuss the Oakland County budget issues and to participate in further discussions about the Marine Patrols on White Lake:

  • Laurie Van Pelt - Oakland County Director of Management and Budget
  • Phil Bertolini -Deputy Oakland County Executive
  • Lt. Gordon Pizzini - Oakland County Sheriff's Office
  • Sgt. Matt Snyder - Oakland County Sheriff's Office, Marine Division
  • Jim Runestad - Oakland County Commissioner, District 6
  • Mike Kowall - White Lake Township Supervisor
  • Eileen Kowall - Michigan State Representative, District 44
Click here to download Laurie Van Pelt's presentation from the meeting: "Oakland County Budgeting Practices and Long-Term Financial Outlook"


Local Media Articles:

image courtesy of The Detroit Free Press






for more information
call the Hotline: 248.887.5658 (April - November)
or e-mail communication@wlcl.org
White Lake Citizens League
P.O. Box 851
Highland, MI 48356

www.wlcl.org