A dispute between the San Juan Fire Department and Sam Juan Police Department regarding the public safety vessel, the Sentinel, may be clearing the smoke on a larger underlying issue — there is only one public safety vessel in the county.
The Sentinel was purchased in 2014 with a Homeland Security Grant, not costing taxpayers a dime. Before the Sentinel, the fire department had their own boat. After receiving the grant for the Sentinel, the previous fire department boat was retired from its duty as it was old and not in good shape. It was agreed upon that this boat was to be shared by law enforcement and fire districts three and five.
Since then, the boat has undergone costly repairs, along with being towed away from being grounded.
Sheriff Ron Krebs said that these issues have been happening for quite some time.