Conrad Beach resident Dan Whelan knew the problem was getting out of control when he heard a trespasser give directions to a friend on how to get to Whelan’s community swimming pool.
Since the North Shore Road beach access was closed a few weeks ago because of a lack of beach in the area, the Broadway beach access has seen an increase in traffic, trespassing and vandalism.
“There were more people parking in the streets where they are not supposed to, more drinking on the beaches than usual and more people walking through private property,” said Whelan, who contacted Commissioner Gene Jaleski about the issue last week.
Whelan asked for help in combating the illegal activity, which generally increases in May, at which time the Longboat Key Police Department reinstates its ATV beach patrols on the popular swath of beach.
After reviewing the increased activity, especially during the weekends, Longboat Key Police Chief Al Hogle and Deputy Chief Martin Sharkey agreed to reinstate the beach patrol a few weeks earlier than scheduled.
Last weekend, the part-time beach patrol officer made his return to the north end and will stay on patrol for weekend duty through August.
The reinstatement of the position, which will be eliminated after the summer months for budgetary reasons, has also helped reduce incidents on Greer Island, also known as Beer Can Island.
“The extra officer strength is helping, and we haven’t had any additional calls or concerns,” Hogle said.
Sharkey also determined that “No Parking” signs need to be placed on the west side of Firehouse Road and on both the north and south sides of Firehouse Court. The placement of the signs will eliminate 20 or more places where beachgoers are parking their cars illegally and protect Conrad Beach and Longbeach’s grass areas from parking.
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