Tonawanda News — Sheehan said the boat is necessary to patrol the river, where many spend a great deal of time during the summer.
“We are using it for the safety of our residents on their own boats, jet skis, water skis ... and to ensure compliance with state and local laws,” Sheehan said. “The water is another patrol area for us.”
The city’s dive team has also been training on the boat, and boat is fully equipped to be used for rescue and recovery missions. Sheehan said the team was very pleased with the new vessel — noting the lights on the bottom of the boat and doors on the sides that allow the divers to come in and out.
The press conference concluded with a blessing of the new boat, and Pilozzi also thanked the politicians in attendance who wrote letters of support for the project — including state Sen. Mark Grisanti, Assemblyman Robin Schimminger, Erie County Legislator Kevin Hardwick, Town of Tonawanda Supervisor Anthony Caruana, Town of Grand Island Supervisor Mary Cooke, North Tonawanda Fire Chief John Lapham and Tonawanda Fire Chief Chuck Stuart.
U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand also wrote a letter of support.
“This state-of-the-art patrol boat will allow City of Tonawanda personnel to increase port surveillance during heavily attended special events like Canal Fest, and enhance the department’s capability to respond to emergencies in the community,” she wrote.Contact reporter Jessica Bagley at 693-1000 ext. 4150, or follow her on Twitter at @JessicaLBagley