BENTON, La. - The Marine Division of the Bossier Parish Sheriff's Office stays busy this time of the year, with everybody wanting to be in and on the water when the heat rises.
"We patrol the waters of Bossier Parish, primarily Cypress Lake, Black Bayou Lake and the Red River," said Bossier Parish sheriff's Lt. Billy Jones. "Once we find our target and we come up with a plan, we literally have a diver in the water in just a few minutes."
"You have a leg and a leg," said Jones, pointing to his sonar.
"Everything is on feel, the diver can't see anything," said Ty Alley of the Bossier Parish Sheriff's Dive Team.
"It was started really for fishermen, but we've found a use for it in law enforcement," said Jones.
The Marine Division uses that underwater sonar to identify all kinds of things in the water, including weapons and bodies. They've got that technology on three of their boats. The Marine Division has seven deputies and 15 vessels.
"As far as I know we're the only ones that have jet skis in the region," said Jones. "They're kind of like the motorcycles in the neighborhood."
"You can make your way through traffic. You wouldn't think there was a lot of traffic on the water, but sometimes it's quite crowded. We tow stranded boats with them; they tow just fine," said Deputy Reigan Malmay.
The department has two jet skis in service right now. They were brought into the fleet back in 2012.
As for reaction from people out on the water when the see the law on a jet ski: "I've not noticed anything different than pulling up next to somebody in a big boat, they still look at you the same, you know ... what did I do?" Malmay said with a laugh.
"Everybody wants our job when we're on the jet skis," said Jones.
Besides patrolling the local waterways, the Marine Division is also heavily involved during major flooding events like back in 2016 when they were a part of many rescues as the waters flooded out multiple neighborhoods.