- Associated Press - Sunday, February 26, 2017

ROCKFORD, Ill. (AP) - The Winnebago County Sheriff’s Department says it may not have enough money to put patrol boats on the Rock River this summer.

Sheriff Gary Caruana tells the Rockford Register Star (https://bit.ly/2lJ0Lhm ) that the county board’s 3.9 percent across-the-board budget cuts have left him short on money to pay for the patrols that cost about $92,000 a year.

That’s raised concerns for the safety those who boat, jet ski and fish the river every summer. Patrols do things like look for boaters under the influence of alcohol as well as do things like tow disabled boats.

Steve Lucas of the Rock River Homeowner’s Association says that just having the patrols on the 20-plus mile stretch of river from the Fordam Dam to the Roscoe bridge “keeps everyone in check.”

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