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The expansion of police powers to quasi-governmental “auxiliary” groups is a worrying trend. One that’s sure to continue as cash-strapped cities and towns try to balance the need to maintain feet on the beat AND with the political necessity of paying gold-plated police pensions guaranteed during more fiscally “liberal” times. But Baywatch with bullets? What does a lifeguard do with his gun if he has to make a sea rescue? Unload it and leave it a secured locked container in a locked pannier (with the ammunition in another locked pannier) or take it with him? If he does, what’s the best gat for that? Just wonderin’ . . .

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  1. So a whopping total of 8 lifeguards were certified as peace officers and given firearms.They look like beach cops.

    Ever been to Galveston, Robert? It’s a hellhole. Lots of crime, primarily from illegal Mexicans. Drunkenness, fights, sexual assaults, burglaries, etc.

    The beach patrol is the first line of defense, and you expect them to confront angry, drunken, violent, possibly ARMED people with a whistle?

    The lifeguards on the towers aren’t armed. This article is a bit of fearmongering on your part, I think.

  2. Thanks Mike…as a retired Galveston police officer I can say you pretty much nailed it. I’m working in another city now…but 27 years at GPD says, again, you nailed it. Walk a mile in our shoes Farago. Stop looking for a friggin boggie man undcr the bed all the time.

    Fourteen GPD officers KIA in the history of the city, two during my tour….talk to me about over reaction. Take a walk downtown or on the beach after sundown…then write an article about Galveston.

  3. “80% of their time is spent on their bikes on the sea wall” taking care of mostly minor issues and keeping minor problems from getting worse. They are contributing to freeing up the regular police for more active patrolling and responding in other areas. Only 8% of the life guards are now armed.

  4. +1 to Mike and Joseph. I spent 6 months on the island in ’05. The seawall and ESPECIALLY downtown can indeed be a very seedy place. I’m all for this change.

  5. Texans open carrying Glocks? big deal…
    And it seems while in my area we formally separate lifeguards and beach patrol, Galveston doesn’t, so I doubt those guys were charged with sea rescues anyways. But if they had to, I think Glocks are gun enough to survive a bit of water as long as they’re cleaned afterwards.

  6. OMG PEACE OFFICERS WITH GUNS! HELP! HELP! THE SKY IS FALLING! Certified peace offiers with guns patrolling the beach making sure there are no glass bottles or alcohol on the beach. OH THE HUMANITY! The dogs must be on leashes, there’s no more public drunkeness, WHAT WILL WE DO?!?!?!?!

    • Actually they’re more likely running gang members off the beach, and trying to keep Galveston somewhat tourist friendly.

  7. This article was a bunch of bull. Completely liberal mentality which is why towns have so many problems. Come on down here to NC where any citizen can legally open carry thier firearms and tell me if you thinks guns on the beach are a bad idea. Our security officers are allowed to detain, and carry firearms as well. Whats wrong with that? It keeps the bad guys in check. I love that the average law abiding citizens here can carry. One of them may save my life one day. Most people who are bothered by things like this fall on the liberalist side, but are the very first ones to call 911 when things go wrong. I bet you would wish at that time that the lifeguard was armed and could help you. Just saying….

  8. Irock…I did know Joe Max……and F. Poor, who is now the sheriff, used to be the chief at GPD. One thing about Galveston…it’s not for bed-wetters and pillow bitters…if you get my drift.

    There is a decidedly anti-police bent to this site, and I find the amateur I’d-do-this-if-that-happened ‘experts’, few of whom have fired a shot in anger, rather amusing.

  9. ANYBODY that can and will help stop the BG is a plus. I don’t care who they are, unless they’re just another BG figuring to off the competition.

    IF they can respond faster than the GPD can on the beaches, that’s a good thing as we all know time is of the essence. In no way am I saying that armed law-abiding citizens shouldn’t be just that, armed. I’m saying the more the merrier in the armed populace of good guys.

  10. Why the charade , call them what they are, they are cops not life guards. By definition a life guard is positioned to rescue a swimmer in trouble. Cops on the other hand supposedly enforce laws (this is debatable in some jurisdictions.) In the video they are riding around on bicycles with a sidearm strapped on, they are not watching the surf for signs of a swimmer in trouble.

    What is the matter with people? Why can’t we call it what it is instead of disguising it as “lifeguard.” And don’t give me the malarky about enforcing “minor” laws like no glass on the beach. These guys have GUNS and the legal authority to use them. You do not enforce littering laws at the point of a gun with the power of life and death and call it “minor.”

    They are cops, take them off the “lifeguard” list and put them on the “cops” list and stop the charade.

    • it’s cheaper to have them on the life gaurd list. i’m betting that their pay and benefits package is less than a cops.

  11. As a Texan, But formerly of New Jersey, I rather think that Atlantic City would be much improved by arming its lifeguards…


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