W. Columbia, SC (WLTX) -- Safety on the river is crucial, especially this weekend with increased traffic on the river.
"Just have a good time, but be careful," Lt. John Norman said.
Floating downstream is normally quiet, but that can rapidly change on a holiday weekend.
Norman and other officers with the West Columbia Police Department are patrolling the waters.
Although you may not recognize them.
"It might be a fisherman, it might be a person sunbathing, it might be a person in a kayak we have several things that we have people do out here and they're just monitoring it," he said.
The officers watch from afar to catch people littering or underage drinking.
Norman says their jet ski makes all the difference.
"To me, the best resource is when we step out with one person on a tube and they have blue lights on that jet ski-- 10, 20, 30 people see those blue lights," Norman said. "So really we're letting 30 people know we're out here, we need you to be careful, we need you to take care of things.
While many think the police are there to issue tons of tickets, their job is to make sure people are safe.
"You get out here with a tube and it hits the rocks and it busted, and you can't get back to shore. It may be 90 degrees out here, but that water temperature is nowhere near 90 degrees," he said. "You're going to try to get back through that water, your extremities are cold, you start losing the function of your extremities, you can get in trouble real quick."
Thanks to federal grants more officers will be on the river when they're usually patrolling a popular Midlands lake.
"Today is labor day weekend, Lake Murray, Lexington County Sheriff's Departmet, DNR they're concentrating their resources to Lake Murray. That's less forces and resources that are on the river. This was funded by DAODAS [Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services], LRADAC [and Rise Above It to get the resources out here today."
West Columbia Police did not issue any citations.
Lt. Norman says that he still deems the operation a success.