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home : news : law enforcement August 24, 2019

7/18/2019 2:21:00 PM
Beam Makes Pitch For Lakefront Signs
Sheriff Bill Beam (Photo Courtesy Lincoln County Sheriff's Office)
Sheriff Bill Beam 

(Photo Courtesy Lincoln County Sheriff's Office)

Wayne Howard
Staff Writer

"Even if you're familiar with the lake," it's easy to get confused and often very difficult to know a street address of a lakefront property."  Sheriff Bill Beam made a presentation to Lincoln County Commissioners earlier this week that could have Lincoln become the first of the counties surrounding Lake Norman to require signage that would identify street addresses of lakefront properties.

Beam noted that the Sheriff's Office is now patrolling the lake 12 hours every day.  "Knowing where you are on the lake doesn't guarantee that you'll know the street address of a home on the lake where help may be needed," he said.  Beam said he wants signs on docks that would identify the street address of the related home.

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Commissioner Bud Cesena agreed, but said he thought just docks wasn't all that was needed.  "I'd like to see those signs in yards on the lake where there may not be a dock," Cesena said.  Other Commissioners all liked the idea and authorized a study to determine the cost and other factors related to a change in ordinances that might require the signs.

"Based on preliminary information, the signs would cost about $30-$35 each," Beam said.  He said he had discussed the idea with the chiefs of the Denver and East Lincoln Fire Departments and they like it.  

"If our patrols spot smoke coming from a home on the lake or see something else that needs immediate emergency attention, the help won't be coming from the lake but by land," Beam said, "and with those signs, our patrols can give information quickly that will get the help needed to the location."

So far, none of the counties on the lake are requiring such signs, and Cesena, who had worked with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police, said the lake patrols in Mecklenburg County are using Duke Energy maps that show dock numbers.  The problem is that the numbers aren't there on some older docks, and even when they are, it takes extra time to determine the location relative to roads that lead to the same place.  

"This is something that wouldn't require a lot of money and could improve law enforcement and safety on and around the lake," Beam told Commissioners. 

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