About the Marine Patrol Unit
The Marine Patrol Unit provides law enforcement services on the waterways within James City County and security for the waterways and shorelines of surrounding jurisdictions and the Port of Hampton Roads. The Marine Patrol Unit consists of 18 officers and is supervised by a Police Sergeant. The Police Marine Patrol Unit mainly patrols the James and Chickahominy Rivers and a small stretch of the York River.
Most officers assigned to the Unit are primarily assigned to a patrol shift and conduct Marine Patrols on assigned days. The officers of the Unit are Conservation Police Officers by definition of the Code of Virginia and shall have authority to enforce boating and fishing laws and may serve process in all matters arising from violations of such laws.
Marine Patrol officers also conduct search and rescue operations, enforce boating safety laws, respond to emergency calls, investigate criminal activity, and provide counter-terrorism patrols to high-value maritime assets upon request from the Port of Hampton Roads or the United States Coast Guard.
The highly trained men and women of the Marine Patrol Unit are dedicated to providing the highest standard of law enforcement service to the citizens of JCC and its visitors.
Marine Patrol Officers are required to complete a state-mandated basic police academy. They then must attend the in-house Basic Marine Patrol Course to learn maritime issues, including boating laws and regulations, boat handling, boat safety, and water rescue techniques.
Officers also attend the regional Search and Rescue Forum each year hosted by the Virginia Port Authority and the U.S. Coast Guard as well as annual refresher training in special maritime law enforcement topics in addition to their required law enforcement annual in-service training.
Through a cooperative Memorandum of Agreement between the Marine Patrol and the United States Coast Guard, the Marine Patrol Unit agrees to work with the U.S. Coast Guard to enhance the safety and security of waters within their respective jurisdictions, through the cooperative enforcement of maritime safety and security zones that are created by the U.S. Coast Guard under authority of the Magnuson Act and Ports and Waterways Safety Act.
The men and women of the Virginia Marine Police serve a valuable, specialized role in public safety and fishery management, and continue a proud tradition of service, valor and professionalism in one of the oldest law enforcement agencies in the Commonwealth.