Florida Gov. DeSantis signs bill shifting enforcement of Volusia beaches

HB-1595 goes into effect

VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. – On Thursday, Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a Florida bill into law that will expand the scope of the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office.

The bill — HB-1595 — gives sheriff’s offices in Florida the sole ability to police unincorporated areas of their respective counties.

This also includes the beaches in Volusia County, according to the sheriff’s office.

The issue became heated last month after it was revealed that the legislation would take authority away from the Volusia County Beach Safety Patrol.

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“Not only do Beach Safety Officers conduct a high number of law enforcement tasks, they also conduct a large number of ocean rescue and EMS calls,” Volusia Waterman’s Association said in a statement. “In fact, the Beach Safety Division rendered 58,141 law enforcement calls from 2017-2021. In that same timespan, the Division conducted 160,820 ocean rescue actions and 7,815 EMS calls.”

However, the sheriff’s office announced on Thursday after the bill was signed into law that VCBSP will continue to manage the beach, providing lifeguard detail and emergency medical services to beachgoers while deputies perform law enforcement in their stead.

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Anthony, a graduate of the University of Florida, joined ClickOrlando.com in April 2022.