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Police Agencies Patrolling Lakes During Labor Day Weekend

LAKE LEWISVILLE (CBSDFW.COM) - Labor day marks the unofficial end of summer with a big 3-day holiday weekend. Lots of people headed to the lake for a final blowout, but law enforcement was also out reminding people to stay safe.

"We have 6-7 boats out here at all times that are maintaining safety on this lake," Denton County Sheriff Will Travis says, referring to Lewisville Lake. The Denton County Sheriff's Department, backed by a handful of other agencies, has 30 people out patrolling known hangouts, like the popular Party Cove on Lewisville Lake. With the lake 5.5 feet low, hidden stumps are a hazard.

"So, you can't really see those stumps that are sticking up; some people hit those, some people are out here with alcohol and it just creates a bad environment when you mix those two together," the sheriff tells CBS 11 News.

His staff is also hitting Lake Ray Roberts, as other law enforcement agencies have similar programs at area reservoirs. Officials check that everyone has an approved life vest, proper fire extinguishers and registration. They also making sure alcohol isn't a problem as well.

Boat owners like Uriel Lopez think it's okay. "I mean, I got pulled over one time before, but as long as you have everything in line it's not an issue. It's just if you're drinking don't be driving."

And he's glad the safety reviews go out on the water and party barges. "Yeah, sometimes it can get pretty crazy...they're always out here, keep an eye out on everything, make sure it doesn't get too crazy."

Mayra Cruz has been on some party barges, just not on big holiday weekends. "It's normally pretty chilled, there's usually not that much police out here," and adds, "I don't mind  [sheriff's patrols], it makes everyone feel safe."

And the sheriff says members of the public are more and more accepting the roles his personnel are playing on holiday weekends like this. "Everybody we're making contact with, pretty much has a designated driver and we're pleased to see that."

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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